Mark Hartney: ARPA-E and Funding R&D of Advanced Energy Technologies | Summary and Q&A

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May 7, 2017
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Stanford
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Mark Hartney: ARPA-E and Funding R&D of Advanced Energy Technologies

TL;DR

Mark, an expert in the public and private sectors, discusses his work at MIT, Lincoln Lab, DARPA, and RP, as well as the challenges and opportunities in government-academic partnerships.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What led Mark to transition from government work to the private sector?

Mark was drawn to the emerging opportunities in imaging and displays, which aligned with his interest in energy applications. He wanted to have a more direct impact on technology development and commercialization, which he found could be better achieved in the private sector.

Q: How are projects funded at RPE?

Projects at RPE are funded through both open solicitations, where companies submit their best ideas, and focused solicitations, where program directors identify key problems to solve. Funding decisions are based on the potential impact of the technology and feasibility of the proposed solution.

Q: How does RPE foster collaboration with the private sector?

RPE actively seeks partnerships with private sector investors and provides resources, such as networking opportunities and support from tech-to-market experts, to connect companies with potential investors. They also organize events like the RPE Summit to showcase their projects to venture capitalists and industry partners.

Q: How does RPE decide when to discontinue a project?

RPE evaluates project progress and milestones at regular intervals. If a project is not meeting its objectives or fails to show promising results, RPE may choose to discontinue funding. They also encourage pivoting or alternative approaches to address the challenges faced by the project.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Mark's early career was focused on research in chemical engineering, particularly in semiconductor processing, which led him to work at Lincoln Lab, an R&D center funded by the Department of Defense.

  • Mark's experience at Lincoln Lab involved developing advanced technologies, specifically in lithography, to support national security initiatives.

  • He later transitioned to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and then to the private sector, where he worked in companies specializing in imaging and displays, such as Silicon Image and FluxTech Alliance.

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