GLEI Director Alexis Abramson featured on WCPN's Sound of Ideas to discuss the impact of ARPA-E

On August 8th, Alexis Abramson, Milton and Tamar Maltz Professor of Energy Innovation and Director of GLEI, along with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, appeared on WCPN's the Sound of Ideas to discuss the impact of ARPA-E funding. 

Speaking with host Rick Jackson, Dr. Abramson shared the importance of ARPA-E and federal research funding in energy. "Its really important to identify the areas  the government is funding in energy. In particular, its largely the R&D side of things, so the research and development side of things. And these tend to be high risk or expensive types of endeavors that no single industry is going to fund, no single company I should say, is going to fund on its own." 

Beyond the specific innovations that result from this support, Dr. Abramson also added that research funding helps the local economy. "This kind of federal support strengthens the economy here in Ohio. (In) that we have researchers that are funded form these grants. We have students that are being trained and starting companies around the area as a result of this kind of research that is being funded by the federal government. There is certainly that economic impact that would be lost as well if we lost that federal funding."

Dr. Abramson noted that there has been bi-partisan support for this type of funding. However, proposed cuts to the Department of Energy would impact the availability of research funding of this type. Congresswoman Kaptur shared that the funding bill passed in the house, though better than the White House's, still includes significant cuts to offices such as ARPA-E and EERE within the Department of Energy. However, she is hopeful that as the bill moves to the Senate, the bill will be improved upon. 

The show also included an overview the research focus CWRU and ARPA-E funded projects occurring on CWRU Campus, including a big-data analytics approach to improving building energy efficiency. 

Listen to the full program here