Former University of Michigan President James Duderstadt and many colleagues are urging the federal government to establish a network of several dozen major energy-research institutes to quickly convert breakthrough inventions into market-ready technologies.
The plan’s lead proponents include Gary Was, director of the Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute at U-M, and university presidents Michael Crow of Arizona State University and Gordon Gee of Ohio State University.
They advocate the creation of a network that links the nation’s best scientists and engineers at research universities, corporations and federal laboratories. The goal is to rapidly develop clean and efficient next-generation energy technologies.
“Both the magnitude and character of federal energy innovation programs remain inadequate to address the scale, urgency and complexity of the energy challenges faced by this nation,” said Duderstadt, a University Professor of Science and Engineering.
“The federal government should place the search for breakthrough technologies and practices at the center of its energy efforts,” he said. “The nation needs a bold campaign to solve one of the most complex problems the nation has ever encountered.”
Duderstadt, Crow and Gee will discuss the energy-institute concept Feb. 9 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Duderstadt is the lead author of a new Brookings paper outlining the proposal. The co-authors are U-M’s Was, Robert McGrath of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Mark Muro of the Brookings Institution, Michael Corradini of the University of Wisconsin, Linda Katehi of the University of Illinois, Rick Shangraw of Arizona State University and Andrea Sarzynski of George Washington University.