Nov. 3, 2011
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – A University of Michigan-led U.S./China collaboration on clean vehicle technology development took a major step forward this fall with the adoption of a formal agreement on intellectual property (IP) protections.
The IP pact represents an important step in the evolution of the U.S. China Clean Energy Research Center – Clean Vehicle Consortium (CERC–CVC), launched by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) and the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology. The U.S. and China are the world’s top energy consumers, energy producers and greenhouse gas emitters. The U-M, with 15 participating faculty researchers, was selected late last year to lead the U.S. side of the CERC-CVC, which includes partners from industry, academia and national laboratories.
“This innovative and enhanced framework for protecting intellectual property is an important step for the Clean Energy Research Center and collaborative research, said U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. “With both the U.S. and Chinese governments supporting these agreements, we are freeing our researchers to offer their best ideas and encourage innovative thinking.”
IP agreements were also reached for the two other CERC consortia, which focus on clean coal technologies and energy-efficient building technologies.
With the agreements in place, the U-M led a 40–person delegation to Beijing last month to discuss the CERC-CVC’s research priorities with the consortium’s Chinese members. These priorities include: energy systems analysis and policies; vehicle electrification; interaction between plug-vehicles and the power grid; batteries and energy conversion; biofuels and clean combustion; and lightweight materials and vehicle structures.
“The final IP agreements provide us with a clear framework to build on important vehicle research that will address the long-term energy challenges faced not only in the U.S. and China, but around the world,” said U-M Mechanical Engineering Professor Huei Peng, director of the CERC–CVC’s U.S. team. “Our recent gathering highlighted the extraordinary breadth and depth of this unique partnership and its potential to impact the development of transformative clean vehicle technologies.”
Funds totaling $12.5 million from the DoE and a combined $17 million from its university and industry team members support the work of U.S. members of the consortium. Led by the U-M, participants include Ohio State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sandia National Laboratories, Joint BioEnergy Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Cummins, Eaton, BorgWarner, Honda, Delphi, A123, Huntsman, American Electric Power, First Energy and the Transportation Research Center. The U-M’s Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute provides administrative support. Tsinghua University leads the Chinese side of the CERC–CVC, which is supported by $25 million in Chinese funding.
The Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute develops, coordinates and promotes multidisciplinary energy research and education at U-M. Its estimated 80 faculty affiliates represent disciplines ranging from engineering to policy to environmental science to urban planning.
Contact: Paul Gargaro, Michigan Memorial Phoenix Energy Institute, 734-615-5678, email@example.com.