Plymouth (MI) - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Fraunhofer, one of Germany's largest research organizations, announced the creation of the MIT-Fraunhofer Institute for Sustainable Energy Systems. The partnership will focus on solar, green buildings and energy device prototyping, leveraging cross-Atlantic research resources and relationships.
The new center was announced over the weekend at the MIT Energy Conference in Plymouth. It will be located adjacent to the MIT campus and launch with an initial investment of $5 million. Nolan Browne, Tonio Buonassisi and Roland Schindler are recognized as the center's founding directors.
MIT and Fraunhofer hope to build a "world leader" in green technology, which will keep its eyes on solar, green buildings and energy device prototyping initially. In solar technology, the project aims to reduce the cost of cost of solar over the next five years by researching new materials and developing "smart" electronics, which could be key in developing better "plug-and-play" solar modules. For "green buildings", MIT-Fraunhofer believes that state-of-the-art building technology can reduce the energy needs of buildings through retrofitting.
Commercial relationships will be crucial in bringing new technologies to market and test research results in real products. To accelerate the transition process into the industry, the partnership plans on establishing a relationship with the New England Energy Cluster, a group of currently 184 alternative energy-focused companies in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.