This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.
National Academies Report Calls for DARPA-Like DOE Agency
Here's a difficult challenge: how do you bolster U.S. competitiveness in science and technology to create new, high-quality jobs for the rest of this century? A new report from the National Academies examines that question, and finds that U.S. superiority in science and technology is eroding. To solve the problem, the report calls for better science education, tax incentives and credits for innovation, and a strengthened commitment to long-term basic research. Among the specific recommendations is for policy makers to establish an organization called the Advanced Research Project Agency—Energy (ARPA-E) within DOE to sponsor "out-of-the-box" energy research to meet the nation's long-term energy challenges. See the National Academies press release or go directly to the full report.
The recommendation is modeled after DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the central research and development organization for the Department of Defense. DARPA pursues research and technology where risk and payoff are both very high and where success may provide dramatic advances for traditional military roles and missions. See the DARPA Web site.