Gerald Schotman, chief technology officer, Royal Dutch Shell, right, signs the agreement with
MIT President Susan Hockfield. (Credit: MIT)
MIT announced that Shell and MIT today signed an agreement to invest $25 million in the research and development of high value, sustainable technologies designed to drive innovation in energy delivery.
The money will fund the MIT Energy Initiative, a program that conducts research aimed at transforming the way the world gets and uses energy. With the Shell donation, the four-year-old MITEI program has attracted more than $300 million for energy research and education.
Beginning this year, the MIT–Shell research agreement will fund projects at $5 million per year for the coming five years. Those projects will focus on advanced modeling, earth science, biofuels, nanotechnology and carbon management.
“The lack of access to affordable energy poses a significant barrier to economic advancement around the globe. Together with the rapidly accelerating demand for energy, the need to develop environmentally sensitive and sustainable energy resources becomes increasingly acute. Our collaboration with Shell will drive energy innovations with the potential for significant, real-world impact,” says Susan Hockfield, MIT president.
According to MIT, the collaboration will focus on a broad array of existing and new oil and gas technologies, including next-generation applications in nanotechnology, biochemistry, electronics and computer modeling. Other focus areas will include research into water treatment improvements, greater fuel efficiency, new solar energy applications and enhanced catalytic technology for advanced fuel cells and smart grids. In particular, they mention the development of “novel sensors to detect physical and chemical properties under extreme and remote conditions.”
“Shell has earned a reputation for advancing a broad portfolio of important energy technologies and for a long-term view of how the global energy system will and should evolve,” says Professor Ernest J. Moniz, director of MIT Energy Initiative. “We are excited about this opportunity to significantly expand our research and education collaboration.”
Here is a video from MIT explaining the mission statement of the Energy Initiative and some of the research going on today.