Eni CEO Paolo Scaroni and MIT President Susan Hockfield at the Solar Frontiers Center inauguration.

Last week I reported on Shell’s hefty donation of $25 million to MIT Energy Initiative for the research and development of high value, sustainable technologies designed to drive innovation in energy delivery.

MIT today reported that Susan Hockfield, president of MIT, and Paolo Scaroni, CEO of the Italian energy company Eni, met to review the progress of the Eni-MIT Alliance, an ambitious five-year research program.

Eni is a founding member of the MITEI, which was established in September 2006 to help transform the global energy system. The Eni-MIT Alliance focuses on research projects designed to enhance oil and gas production, as well as projects focused on advanced solar technologies.

“The world needs short-, medium-, and long-term solutions to the global energy challenge. I am therefore very pleased that the Eni-MIT Alliance is already producing significant results while growing in new and critical directions. The research focused on Eni’s core business will help meet global energy needs in the near to mid-term in affordable, safe and environmentally responsible ways. And the research from the Eni-MIT Solar Frontiers Center will speed our progress toward sustainable energy production for the future,” Hockfield says.

Some research projects currently under MIT and Eni joint development include “nano-sorbents” for oil cleanup, designed for use in affected marshlands; and paper-thin photovoltaics, developed in the Eni-MIT Solar Frontiers Center. These flexible and foldable nano-scale devices are grown on paper.