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Energy innovation at center stage, in D.C. and Boston

Posted by Scott Kirsner  March 5, 2010 09:26 AM

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Many of Boston's energy entrepreneurs dashed down to D.C. for the early part of the week to participate in the first-ever ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit. (ARPA-E is the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency, modeled after the Pentagon's DARPA.)

The agenda included local folks like Peter Rothstein, senior vice president at the New England Clean Energy Council; Desh Deshpande, chairman of A123 Systems; and MIT prof Yet-Ming Chiang, co-founder of A123.

And the Department of Energy released the video below to coincide with the summit; it spotlights the work of Cambridge-based Sun Catalytix, an MIT spin-out developing new ways to produce hydrogen that has received $4 million in funding from ARPA-E; Sun Catalytix co-founder (and MIT faculty member) Dan Nocera was down in D.C. for the event, and the video was briefly highlighted this week on the White House's homepage.

At the summit, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced that his agency was making $100 million in stimulus funding available for research projects in three areas, including large-scale energy storage technologies.

Cambridge's Greentech Media has some great analysis of the event, headlined: "ARPA-E(mpty): Fantastic Program; Not Enough Money."

Today and tomorrow, MIT has the student-organized MIT Energy Conference at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston.

And next week's big energy-related event, Going Green East, takes place at the Four Seasons Hotel in Boston; the agenda is full of local venture capitalists and CEOs.

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Innovation and technology news that matters, on a new website from the Boston Globe, featuring Scott Kirsner and other original reporting.

About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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