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Pursuing Energy Research Collaborations on a World-Wide Stage
REE Research

Director’s Corner

by Brian Anderson, Ph.D.

There’s an African Proverb that teaches us: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” That’s wise advice, but at NETL, we intend to go fast and far by accelerating our own unique and productive research while actively seeking opportunities to work with others around the world in a shared journey to innovate new energy technologies for a clean and productive energy future.

That’s why I have been actively participating on the global stage to gain widespread understanding of what needs to be done, how we are working toward energy goals, and how we can pursue opportunities to work together.

For example, I was honored to participate as a panelist at the 40th annual CERAWeek event — the world’s preeminent energy conference — for a discussion of the role of America’s national laboratories in advancing energy transition. NETL and the U.S. Department of Energy’s 16 other national laboratories tackle the most pressing scientific challenges of our time. This includes working with commercial partners to scale those technologies to help the world meet net-zero carbon goals.

Along with Paul Kearns, director of Argonne National Laboratory and Doug Arent, executive director of strategic public-private partnerships at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, we had an excellent discussion of our work and how we support work with the private sector. It was a wonderful opportunity to reach a worldwide audience of potential research and commercialization partners because CERAWeek brings together global leaders to advance new ideas, insight and solutions to the biggest challenges facing the future of energy, the environment and climate. 

The event was attended by public and private sector leaders from energy and utility industries and representatives from the automotive, manufacturing, policy and financial communities.  

I pursued a similar opportunity when I spoke at the 7th International Energy Forum (IEF)/ King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) Thought Leaders’ Roundtable in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in February. The event focused on energy, security and advancing technology innovation and investment. The event attracted energy ministers from 71 countries. 

IIEF is the world’s largest international organization of energy ministers and includes both producing and consuming nations. KAPSARC is an advisory think tank that seeks to advance Saudi Arabia’s energy sector and inform global policies through evidence-based advice and applied research.

The event was a great opportunity for me to help discuss how the world can foster investment in clean technology deployment, advancing innovation, and modernizing infrastructure to achieve energy security. Clearly, the collaboration between research, advisory, and think tank institutions and governments synchs with NETL’s role to help inform policymakers to make decisions that lead to energy sustainability.

I look forward to pursuing even more opportunities to carry NETL’s energy research message and develop productive collaborations for a safe and clean energy future.