ARPA-E Archived Funding Opportunities

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  DE-FOA-0002212 Breakthroughs Enabling Thermonuclear-fusion Energy (BETHE) Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) 1/14/2020 09:30 AM ET

DE-FOA-0002212: Breakthroughs Enabling Thermonuclear-fusion Energy (BETHE)

ARPA-E aims to support the development of timely, commercially viable fusion energy.[1] Based on numerous studies examining the cost challenges facing advanced nuclear energy,[2] which shares some attributes with fusion such as unit size, capital cost, and power-generation characteristics, ARPA-E believes that a commercial fusion power plant should target an overnight capital cost (OCC) of <US$2B and <$5/W.[3] If a grid-ready fusion demonstration can be realized within approximately twenty years while satisfying these cost metrics, then, as a firm low-carbon energy source, fusion can contribute to meeting global, growing low-carbon energy demand and cost-effective deep decarbonization[4] in the latter half of the century.

This program addresses the need to lower the costs of development and eventual deployment of commercial fusion energy by supporting R&D to increase the performance and number of credible, lower-cost fusion concepts. Full Applications are invited in the three research categories[5] described in Section I.D of the FOA. Criteria and metrics are described in Section I.E of the FOA. The technology-to-market (T2M) component of this program, via a number of planned activities at the project and program levels, aims to build and smooth the path to fusion commercialization to include public, private, and philanthropic partnerships.

[1] See agenda and posted materials from ARPA-E fusion workshop, Burlingame, CA, Aug. 13–14, 2019.

[2] e.g., The Future of Nuclear Energy in a Carbon-Constrained World, An Interdisciplinary MIT Study, MIT Energy Initiative (2018).

[3] Assuming 10th-of-a-kind for the fusion-specific systems and nth-of-a-kind for the balance of plant.

[4] N. A. Sepulveda et al., “The Role of Firm Low-Carbon Electricity Resources in Deep Decarbonization of Power Generation,” Joule 2, 2403 (2018).

[5] At the recent ARPA-E fusion workshop (see footnote 2), a potential program covering both “lower-cost fusion concept development” and “fusion enabling technologies” was discussed (for the latter, see also ARPA-E Request for Information (RFI) DE-FOA-0002131, released May 6, 2019). Please note that this program, BETHE, covers the former but only a subset of the latter, as described in detail in Section I.D of the FOA. ARPA-E recognizes that serious development of fusion enabling technologies must be initiated as soon as possible to meet the objective of a grid-ready fusion demonstration in 20 years, and is exploring a potential, separate program focused on that topic.


  • BETHE FA FOA (Last Updated: 11/6/2019 06:16 PM ET)

Application Forms and Templates

The following forms and templates may be used as part of the application submission. Note that these forms and templates do not necessarily constitute all the documents required for a complete application. Please refer to the 'Application and Submission Information' of the published announcement to learn more about the required application content requirements.

View Application Forms and Templates

Full Application

  • BETHE - Technical Volume Template (Last Updated: 11/6/2019 06:51 PM ET)
  • Costing Spreadsheet - Category A only (except those specifically exempt) (Last Updated: 11/6/2019 06:51 PM ET)
  • SF-424 (Last Updated: 11/6/2019 06:49 PM ET)
  • Budget Justification/ SF-424A Workbook (Last Updated: 11/6/2019 06:53 PM ET)
  • Budget Justification/ SF-424A Workbook Guidance (Last Updated: 11/6/2019 06:54 PM ET)
  • Summary for Public Release Template (Last Updated: 11/6/2019 06:56 PM ET)
  • Summary Slide Template (Last Updated: 11/6/2019 06:57 PM ET)
  • Business Assurances & Disclosures Form - Template (Last Updated: 11/6/2019 06:58 PM ET)
  • Business Assurances & Disclosures Form - Sample (Last Updated: 11/6/2019 06:58 PM ET)
  • U.S. Manufacturing Plan Template (Last Updated: 1/7/2020 01:33 PM ET)
  • Replies to Reviewer Comments Template (Last Updated: 11/6/2019 07:00 PM ET)

Contact Information

    Please contact the email address above for questions regarding ARPA-E’s online application portal, ARPA-E eXCHANGE.
    Please contact the email address above for questions regarding Funding Opportunity Announcements. ARPA-E will post responses on a weekly basis to any questions that are received. ARPA-E may re-phrase questions or consolidate similar questions for administrative purposes.

Submission Deadlines

  • Full Application Submission Deadline: 1/14/2020 9:30 AM ET
  • View Full Application Reviewer Comments Period: 2/24/2020 5:00 PM ET – 2/28/2020 5:00 PM ET