The summary for the SENSOR grant is detailed below. This summary states who is eligible for the grant, how much grant money will be awarded, current and past deadlines, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) numbers, and a sampling of similar government grants. Verify the accuracy of the data provides by visiting the webpage noted in the Link to Full Announcement section or by contacting the appropriate person listed as the Grant Announcement Contact. If any section is incomplete, please visit the website for the Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy , which is the U.S. government agency offering this grant.
SENSOR: SAVING ENERGY NATIONWIDE IN STRUCTURES WITH OCCUPANCY RECOGNITION (SENSOR) Agency Overview: The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), an organization within the Department of Energy (DOE), is chartered by Congress in the America COMPETES Act of 2007 (P.L. 110-69), as amended by the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010 (P.L. 111-358) to: “(A) to enhance the economic and energy security of the United States through the development of energy technologies that result in— (i) reductions of imports of energy from foreign sources; (ii) reductions of energy-related emissions, including greenhouse gases; and (iii) improvement in the energy efficiency of all economic sectors; and (B) to ensure that the United States maintains a technological lead in developing and deploying advanced energy technologies.” ARPA-E issues this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) under the programmatic authorizing statute codified at 42 U.S.C. § 16538. The FOA and any awards made under this FOA are subject to 2 C.F.R. Part 200 as amended by 2 C.F.R. Part 910. ARPA-E funds research on and the development of high-potential, high-impact energy technologies that are too early for private-sector investment. The agency focuses on technologies that can be meaningfully advanced with a modest investment over a defined period of time in order to catalyze the translation from scientific discovery to early-stage technology. For the latest news and information about ARPA-E, its programs and the research projects currently supported, see: ARPA-E funds transformational research. Existing energy technologies generally progress on established “learning curves” where refinements to a technology and the economies of scale that accrue as manufacturing and distribution to develop drive down the cost/performance metric in a gradual fashion. This continual improvement of a technology is important to its increased commercial deployment and is appropriately the focus of the private sector or the applied technology offices within DOE. By contrast, ARPA-E supports transformative research that has the potential to create fundamentally new learning curves. ARPA-E technology projects typically start with cost/performance estimates well above the level of an incumbent technology. Given the high risk inherent in these projects, many will fail to progress, but some may succeed in generating a new learning curve with a projected cost/performance metric that is significantly lower than that of the incumbent technology. ARPA-E funds technology with the potential to be disruptive in the marketplace. The mere creation of a new learning curve does not ensure market penetration. Rather, the ultimate value of a technology is determined by the marketplace, and impactful technologies ultimately become disruptive – that is, they are widely adopted and displace existing technologies from the marketplace or create entirely new markets. ARPA-E understands that definitive proof of market disruption takes time, particularly for energy technologies. Therefore, ARPA-E funds the development of technologies that, if technically successful, have the clear disruptive potential, e.g., by demonstrating capability for manufacturing at competitive cost and deployment at scale. ARPA-E funds applied research and development. The Office of Management and Budget defines “applied research” as “systematic study to gain knowledge or understanding necessary to determine the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met” and defines “development” as the “systematic application of knowledge or understanding, directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, and systems or methods, including design, development, and improvement of prototypes and new processes to meet specific requirements.” Applicants interested in receiving financial assistance for basic research should contact the DOE's Office of Science ( Office of Science national scientific user facilities ( are open to all researchers, including ARPA-E applicants and awardees. These facilities provide advanced tools of modern science including accelerators, colliders, supercomputers, light sources and neutron sources, as well as facilities for studying the nanoworld, the environment, and the atmosphere. Projects focused on the improvement of existing technology platforms along defined roadmaps may be appropriate for support through the DOE offices such as: the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (, the Office of Fossil Energy (, the Office of Nuclear Energy (, and the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability ( Program Overview: This program aims to dramatically reduce the amount of energy used for heating and cooling residential buildings (by 30%) via user-transparent sensor systems that accurately sense human presence (not merely motion). This program also aims to reduce energy usage in commercial buildings (also by 30%) by enabling ventilation control based on sensor systems that can accurately count the number of humans in a pre-determined zone. If these sensing technologies can be widely deployed with disruptively low price targets and failure rates, a significantly lower usage of energy will result without impact to comfort of the occupants of the space. Heating, cooling, and ventilation (HVAC) reduction is only one way energy can be saved; such human presence sensing and people counting will enable drastic improvements in the way buildings communicate with and respond to their occupants. The accuracy, reliability, and cost requirements to deliver such substantial energy savings are far beyond the limits of sensor systems available today. However, ARPA-E believes that by building on recent trends in improved performance and reduced cost in low-power consumer electronics and wireless communication technologies, it is possible to achieve the required performance levels through a focused push in the SENSOR program. Supporting systems currently exist (i.e., thermostats/controls, variable air volume systems, etc.) that could utilize data from such sensor systems to achieve the program's energy reduction targets today, with only slight modifications. In order to ensure impact for the new sensor systems, significant adoption barriers must be identified and clearly understood, technical paths to overcome these barriers must be defined, and real-world performance of these technical solutions validated. There are four areas of focus for this program, as described further in this FOA: A. Human presence sensors for residential use (these deliver a binary “occupied or not occupied” signal to enable temperature adjustment (setbacks) between setpoints used for the normal comfort range vs those for an unoccupied residence; B. People counting sensors for commercial use (these deliver the number of occupants in a specific defined HVAC zone to enable both temperature and ventilation setbacks); C. Low-cost, stable, and easily deployable CO2 sensors to enable adoption of ventilation setbacks; D. Real-World testing and validation of A, B, and C in both laboratory controlled quasi-real world environments and actual field deployment tests throughout the program timeframe. To obtain a copy of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) please go to the ARPA-E website at ARPA-E will not review or consider Concept Papers submitted through other means. For detailed guidance on using ARPA-E eXCHANGE, please refer to the ARPA-E eXCHANGE User Guide (
Federal Grant Title: SENSOR
Federal Agency Name: Advanced Research Projects Agency Energy (DOE-ARPAE)
Grant Categories: Science and Technology
Type of Opportunity: Discretionary
Funding Opportunity Number: DE-FOA-0001737
Type of Funding: Cooperative Agreement
CFDA Numbers: 81.135
CFDA Descriptions: Information not provided
Current Application Deadline: March 17th, 2017
Original Application Deadline: March 17th, 2017
Posted Date: January 18th, 2017
Creation Date: January 18th, 2017
Archive Date: September 15th, 2017
Total Program Funding: $20,000,000
Maximum Federal Grant Award: $10,000,000
Minimum Federal Grant Award: $250,000
Expected Number of Awards: 15
Cost Sharing or Matching: Yes
Last Updated: January 18th, 2017
Applicants Eligible for this Grant
Unrestricted (i.e., open to any type of entity below), subject to any clarification in text field entitled "Additional Information on Eligibility"
Additional Information on Eligibility
See Section III. of the FOA.
Link to Full Grant Announcement
Grant Announcement Contact

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