MIT and power and automation equipment supplier ABB will jointly undertake energy research to help meet global requirements for clean electricity and energy efficiency.
ABB will join MIT's Energy Initiative (MITEI) and will support research in a variety of areas including nanofluids, power electronics, intelligent robotics and equipment heat management. As a sustaining member of MITEI, ABB will have a seat on the MITEI governing board, which provides key input on the direction and success of the Initiative's research portfolio.
"A MITEI partnership with ABB creates enormous opportunities to provide technology solutions to global energy challenges," said MITEI director Ernest J. Moniz. "The ABB corporate portfolio offers a range of potential research focus areas in which MIT has substantial research capability and could make a major contribution. ABB's commitment to sustainability, energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is especially exciting from a research perspective."
"This partnership is another significant step in ABB's strategy of combining our leading industrial technology competence with cutting-edge international research," said Peter Terwiesch, ABB's chief technology officer. "New technology is the key to tapping the potential of energy efficiency in the face of the soaring demand and increasing environmental concerns."
ABB spends around $1.1 billion per year on research and development. Technology plays a crucial role in meeting energy and environmental challenges. Soaring energy demand has also placed a premium on energy efficiency, a key area of ABB's research and development activity, comprising about half of its research investment.
In addition to supporting the research programme, ABB's five-year, $5-million collaboration will support graduate fellowships and MITEI's energy research "seed fund." The fund was set up to promote the development of a broad range of innovative energy technologies and concepts from researchers across the Institute.
MITEI deputy director Robert Armstrong noted, "over the length of this partnership, ABB will support 10 graduate energy fellowships at the Institute, the ABB-MIT Energy Fellows. ABB's commitment to developing the next generation of energy technologists will help nurture and develop young energy researchers to meet the global energy challenges of the next several decades."
MITEI is an institute-wide initiative designed to help transform the global energy system to meet the challenges of the future. The MIT Energy Initiative includes research, education, campus energy management and outreach activities, and an interdisciplinary approach that covers all areas of energy supply and demand, security and environmental impact.