Howard M. Branz, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate, RASEI
Principal, Branz Technology Partners
September 21, 2016 1:00pm – 2:00pm (seminar) 2:00pm – 3:00pm (roundtable discussions)
SEEC C120 - 4001 Discovery Drive, Boulder CO, 80303
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Is ARPA-E confusing you? I will describe the culture of the most important new U.S. funding source for advanced energy technology from my perspective as a former Program Director. The DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) aims to fund transformational energy technologies with potential to disrupt existing modes of energy generation, distribution and use. The motivations underlying the various types of ARPA-E funding opportunities (FOA’s) will be described, along with practical information about how to find the right FOA and frame winning ideas. Finally, I will discuss the challenges of creating project teams to meet ARPA-E’s seeming-contradictory goals of applying cutting-edge science and moving technology toward market.
Dr. Howard Branz was an ARPA-E Program Director from 2012 – 2015. He selected and incubated more than $70M of interdisciplinary technologies and led a “virtual research center” of 28 projects. Branz helped select the best proposals from among thousands of applications to the 2012 and 2015 OPEN FOA’s and the ongoing IDEAS FOA. He also created and funded the $35M FOCUS Program for hybrid solar energy. Before joining ARPA-E, Dr. Branz was a Research Fellow and group leader at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) where he led research in photovoltaics, nanotechnology, semiconductor physics, epitaxy, photo electrochemistry and materials science. Branz is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and won the NREL Hubbard Award for sustained research excellence in 2011. He now works with CU and RASEI researchers to help get maximum impact from energy-related research and develop compelling proposals to funding agencies.