I said I would talk a little more about ARPA-E and though I have been reading about its projects with interest it is hard to know where to start. Perhaps that is a positive, it is one of the broadest programs I have seen with funding for potential breakthrough technology in areas ranging from new grid design to carbon capture technology for power plants. The thing I like about this program is that it is seeking to fund revolutionary technology, the type of technology that will probably amount to nothing but could ... change the world.
I think this is just the type of program that government's in my home country (Australia) and my adopted country (UK) would be unlikely to fund. Certainly not on a comparable scale (even relative to their economies), despite the reinvigoration of conservative politics over the last 12 months there are still few (if any) countries on Earth with the appetite for risky innovation as America.
Here's hoping it works!
Oh and check this map out, it gives a great overview of the geographic spread of programs and highlightsthe continued strength of California in US innovation.