Former head of Energy Dept. research agency heads to Google

Though partisan splits on how to fund energy research have widened since the federal stimulus, ARPA-E has received broad support across the aisle.

ARPA-E — which was first established in 2007 but didn’t receive funding until 2009 — invests in so-called high-risk, high-reward projects to develop "transformational" energy technologies.

The program offers funding for meeting a technological goal — for example, an affordable electric car battery that can go a certain number of miles without recharging — but does not prescribe how to get there.

During his time as ARPA-E chief, Majumdar also served as Acting Undersecretary of Energy. Before that, he was associate director of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and taught engineering at the University of California, Berkeley.

— This story was updated at 4:36 p.m.