Energy and living
Fraunhofer and University of British Columbia initiate partnership
Fraunhofer and the University of British Columbia (UBC) forged a new partnership in order to focus on renewable energy technologies.
Fraunhofer Senior Vice President Research Planning Ulrich Buller and UBC President Stephen Toope signed a memorandum of understanding on March 8, 2012 in Berlin during the Canada-Germany meeting of the U-15, a group representing the 15 leading research-intensive universities in Canada.
“Our goal is to initiate a longstanding research partnership between Fraunhofer and UBC,” said Prof. Buller. “We want to make this research cooperation between Canada and Germany a lighthouse project to be recognized beyond the two countries’ borders.”
The partners Fraunhofer and UBC want to pursue joint projects in areas that include electrochemical energy conversion such as electrolyzer and fuel cell technologies, focusing on the generation and usage of hydrogen as a universal energy carrier in a renewable energy economy. Furthermore, the efficient conversion of biomass as a sustainable energy source will be studied bilaterally as well. Scholarly and student exchanges are foreseen as part of the academic program. Finally, increasing the links to industry and commercialization opportunities are also on the agenda.
Therefore Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg will team up with the university's Clean Energy Research Centre (CERC) which aims to improve existing energy technologies such as fuel cell and clean-energy combustion systems, and develop new sustainable sources of energy including hydrogen and biofuels.
“We are very excited about the upcoming collaboration between our institute and UBC,“ said Dr. Christopher Hebling, Director of the Energy Technology Division at Fraunhofer ISE. “UBC is among the most outstanding universities in the world for research in this area, and is also surrounded by very important companies in the fuel cell and biomass sector in the Vancouver vicinity.“
UBC is committed to leadership in sustainability, a leadership demonstrated by meeting the university’s Kyoto targets for green house gas reduction five years early. The partnership with Fraunhofer is seen as a testament to the calibre of its sustainability research and innovation.