Fundamental science principles don’t change depending on the time zone, so researchers from the United States and Singapore will soon collaborate to pave the way for advancements in energy efficiency.
Last week in a local ceremony, Singapore’s top scientific minds welcomed their counterparts from ExxonMobil as the first step toward launching an energy center that will foster energy innovation.
The “Singapore Energy Center” is a collaboration between two of Singapore’s leading universities: the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and the National University of Singapore. ExxonMobil, whose largest refining and petrochemical complex sits in Singapore, will be a founding member.
The proposed energy center, ExxonMobil’s first outside of the United States, will build on the company’s existing partnerships with U.S. academic and research institutions that work on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Having an Energy Center in Singapore will foster rich collaborations between scientists, researchers and industry, according to Professor Lam Khin Yong, Nanyang Technological University’s acting provost, chief of staff and vice president for research. “This creates an industry-academic nexus, which not only accelerates technological breakthroughs, but also places our researchers and students at the forefront of translational research.”
“This joint research initiative will combine the rich scientific capabilities of both academia and industry to solve complex, real-world challenges,” notes Professor Ho Teck Hua, National University of Singapore Deputy President (Research & Technology and Tan Chin Tuan Centennial Professor.
In the United States, ExxonMobil supports Stanford University’s Global Climate and Energy Project and recently partnered with energy centers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Energy Initiative, Princeton University’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, and the Energy Institute at the University of Texas.
Combined, ExxonMobil is investing more than $145 million to support research initiatives at these four centers.
At Princeton, for example, a team is working to develop ways to reuse depleted electric vehicle (EV) batteries. With more electric cars populating the roads, figuring out a way to reuse those batteries is critical. At MIT, a group of researchers is working to make solar photovoltaic (PV) cells from carbon-based materials. At the University of Texas, researchers are looking to print replicas of nanoparticles to develop emission-capturing technologies.
“An Energy Center in Singapore would not only broaden our research capabilities and perspectives, it provides an opportunity to tap into the innovations from one of the world’s fastest-growing energy markets,” said Adam Usadi, planning manager of research and engineering at ExxonMobil.