FAPESP and Shell launch New Energy Innovation Center

24 de maio de 2018

By Elton Alisson  |  Agência FAPESP – FAPESP, Shell Brazil, the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), the University of São Paulo (USP) and the Energy & Nuclear Research Institute (IPEN) launched the New Energy Innovation Center (CINE) on May 23, 2018, at an event held at FAPESP’s headquarters in São Paulo.

A total of BRL 110 million will be invested in CINE over a five-year period under the aegis of FAPESP’s Engineering Research Center Program to fund the development of new energy storage devices with zero or close-to-zero greenhouse gas emissions using renewable fuels and novel technological routes to convert methane into chemicals, among other goals.

Shell will invest up to BRL 34.7 million all told in the new center, while FAPESP has budgeted an investment of BRL 23.14 million. UNICAMP, USP and IPEN will contribute BRL 53 million as matching funds in researcher and support staff salaries, infrastructure and facilities.

“I’m very pleased to participate in this event to launch the New Energy Innovation Center because it will open up new frontiers and combine the needs of FAPESP and Shell to support scientific and technological development with the virtuosity of scientists who want to expand the frontiers of knowledge,” said FAPESP President José Goldemberg.

“It’s a satisfaction for me to see the research fields that will be supported in this new center and that are of personal interest to me,” said Goldemberg, who is recognized as one of the world’s leading energy experts.

CINE will have four research divisions, hosted by UNICAMP (Advanced Energy Storage, and Dense Energy Carriers), USP (Computational Material Science & Chemistry), and IPEN (Sustainable Route for Conversion of Methane with Advanced Chemical Technologies). It will develop a total of 20 projects.

The Center’s mission is to produce knowledge at the research frontier and in parallel to transfer technology to the business sector. Its research results may be used by Shell to establish startups or enter into partnerships with other companies.

“One of the new center’s distinguishing features is that researchers affiliated with it aim not to advance incrementally but to conduct advanced research that can have an impact on the world,” said FAPESP Scientific Director Carlos Henrique de Brito Cruz.

“It’s been exciting to work on setting up CINE with Shell, a company that has scientists and understands the importance of doing good science.”

FAPESP supports Engineering Research Centers in partnership with GSK, hosted by the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) and Butantan Institute; Shell, hosted by the University of São Paulo’s Engineering School (POLI-USP); Peugeot Citroën, hosted by the University of Campinas (UNICAMP); and Natura, hosted by the University of São Paulo (USP).

Other centers are in the process of being set up in partnership with EMBRAPA, on climate change; Statoil, on oil and gas reservoir management and production; Usina São Martinho, on sustainable measures for the control of diseases that affect sugarcane; and Koppert, on biological pest control.