A $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).