The Obama administration may be bent on out-educating and out-innovating the rest of the world, but it seems to recognize that international collaboration has its place in the development of clean energy technologies. The Department of Energy (DOE) has already launched cooperative efforts with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in order to further solar panel research and development. Now, the DOE is announcing a partnership with India that involves $25 million in federal funds to be parsed out over the next five years through what is being called the U.S.-India Joint Clean Energy Research and Development Center (JCERDC).
According to the DOE’s statement, the $25 million it is providing will need to be matched by the winning universities, national labs, private companies or others who apply and are accepted for the program. Initially, the grant recipients are meant to focus on three specific areas, including building energy efficiency, second-generation biofuels and solar energy. The Indian Ministry of Science and Technology will reportedly provide $50 million of its own in Indian public and private funding to support similar research in India.
Interestingly, the money and research jobs that come about through this “research and development center” will stay in their respective countries. There is no joint research and development center location, per se. Essentially, the agreement seems to be about the sharing of information on research topics that both countries previously agreed upon.
Applications to participate in the JCERDC are due by August 16, 2011. Grant winners are expected to be selected this fall. More information on applying for the program can be found in this Funding Opportunity Announcement.