Exxon Mobil Corp. has announced plans to invest $15 million as a leadership member of The University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute.
The investment sees the Irving-based firm pursue technologies intended to help meet growing energy demand while reducing environmental impacts and the risk of climate change.
The joint research initiative is aimed at studying transformational energy innovations. Those include integrating renewable energy sources into the current supply mix and advancing traditional energy sources in ways that improve efficiency and reduce effects on water, air and climate, according to a news release.
Research projects will cover several emerging technologies and will take advantage of the university’s capabilities in renewable energy, battery technologies and power grid modeling.
“The University of Texas at Austin has extensive experience and expertise in identifying innovative energy technologies,” said Sara Ortwein, president of Exxon Mobil’s upstream research firm, commenting in a news release.
“Our scientists and engineers look forward to collaborating with UT’s faculty and students through the Energy Institute to develop breakthrough technologies that can help reduce emissions.”
The University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute fosters interdisciplinary study of critical energy questions, leveraging expertise across several schools and colleges, including the Jackson School of Geosciences, Cockrell School of Engineering and College of Natural Sciences. The newly announced strategic engagement will use an umbrella agreement framework to facilitate collaborative research between Exxon Mobil and the university.
“The University of Texas at Austin is proud and deeply appreciative of its long history of collaboration in education and research with Exxon Mobil,” said Gregory L. Fenves, university president. “This investment further unites two of the world’s leading energy organizations to pursue innovations for a better energy future.”
ExxonMobil plans to expand its collaboration with the university’s Gulf Coast Carbon Center, a multidisciplinary group that has specialized in geological sequestration of carbon dioxide since 1998. The research is expected to complement Exxon Mobil’s recently announced partnership with FuelCell Energy Inc. to advance carbonate fuel cell technology.
Exxon Mobil has collaborated with more than 80 universities worldwide in researching breakthrough energy technologies. For example, last year, it joined Princeton University’s E-ffiliates Partnership, a corporate affiliates program administered by Princeton’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. E-ffiliates fosters collaboration with industry in pursuing energy and environmental innovation.