Arizona State Univ. (ASU) and Sandia National Laboratories have signed a formal partnership agreement on important renewable energy challenges. The goals of the memorandum of understanding are to encourage collaborative research, build educational and workforce development programs and inform policy endeavors.

The agreement enables the two institutions to more easily work together to secure new research funding, establish multidisciplinary partnerships and advance innovation and entrepreneurship in science, technology, engineering and mathematical disciplines while building a workforce pipeline.

“ASU is delighted to partner with Sandia National Laboratories to advance research, education, workforce development programs and policy endeavors,” said Sethuraman (Panch) Panchanathan, Sr. VP with ASU’s Office of Knowledge Enterprise Development. “Collaborations such as this, between national laboratories and leading research universities, are becoming exceedingly important to leverage our joint capabilities and facilities to solve our grandest challenges facing society and to advance innovation and entrepreneurship activities.”

The potential areas of focus are solar hybrid fuels, solar thermochemical fuels, concentrating solar technologies, photovoltaics, electric grid modernization and algae-based biofuels. Sandia and ASU also seek international applications of these technologies, and anticipate that other premier institutions from around the nation and world will eventually become a part of the ongoing partnership.

“This agreement recognizes the relationship we have already formed with Sandia National Laboratories and it points to a strong collaborative future,” said Gary Dirks, Dir. of LightWorks and the Global Institute of Sustainability at ASU. “As the largest university in the nation and the largest of the national laboratories, we have high expectations for our future efforts under this partnership.”

As the largest university in the nation per enrollment, ASU will be able to leverage its world-class researchers as well as its advanced insight into education, as is reflected in the standards of the New American University.

Both located in the desert Southwest, Sandia and ASU are known for groundbreaking work in solar energy and power grid modernization. Sandia’s photovoltaic research facilities include the Photovoltaic Systems Evaluation Lab, the Distributed Energy Technologies Laboratory and the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s unique National Solar Thermal Test Facility.

The partnership takes effect immediately and will be overseen by a steering committee with representatives from both institutions.

Source: Arizona State Univ.