UBC & Frauen­hofer

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Van­cou­ver - $4.9-mil­lion re­search part­ner­ship be­tween the Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia and Ger­many’s Fraun­hofer So­ci­ety – Europe’s largest ap­plied re­search in­sti­tu­tion – will ad­vance clean en­ergy re­search in five crit­i­cal ar­eas, from wind en­ergy to zero emis­sion ve­hi­cles.

The in­ter­na­tional part­ner­ship builds upon the mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing signed by UBC Pres­i­dent Steven Toope dur­ing a trip by Canada’s top 15 univer­si­ties to Ger­many in March. The three-year agree­ment will sup­port col­lab­o­ra­tion on biomass-to-en­ergy con­ver­sion, fuel-cell and hy­dro­gen tech­nolo­gies, wind-tur­bine man­u­fac­tur­ing, elec­trol­y­sis and in­dus­trial as­pects of so­lar-cell tech­nol­ogy.

“This part­ner­ship will al­low both in­sti­tu­tions to ac­cel­er­ate so­lu­tions for sus­tain­abil­ity chal­lenges fac­ing the world,” said Prof. John Hep­burn, UBC Vice Pres­i­dent Re­search & In­ter­na­tional. “The part­ner­ship is also a key com­po­nent of UBC’s In­ter­na­tional strat­egy to ac­tively link with other global lead­ers to fur­ther knowl­edge dis­cov­ery, devel­op­ment and demon­stra­tion that will ben­e­fit cur­rent and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

UBC is the first Cana­dian part­ner cho­sen for Fraun­hofer’s ICON pro­gram. While Fraun­hofer re­search is typ­i­cally funded by in­dus­try, un­der the ICON pro­gram the Ger­man in­sti­tu­tion will con­trib­ute $3.26 mil­lion to the project, with UBC pro­vid­ing the re­main­der in the form of ba­sic and ap­plied re­search.

UBC’s prin­ci­pal in­ves­ti­ga­tor on the project is Prof. Wal­ter Mérida, as­so­ciate di­rec­tor at UBC’s Clean En­ergy Re­search Cen­tre, lead­ing a team of four se­nior en­gi­neer­ing pro­fes­sors: John Grace (so­lar), David Wilkin­son (elec­trol­y­sis), Tony Bi (biomass) and Yusuf Alt­in­tas (wind).

Front row: Pro­fes­sor Dr. Ul­rich Buller & Stephen Toope (UBC) Back row: Thomas Rachel, Mike Lake (Min­is­ter of In­dus­try)

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