19:00 PM

Gee works to transform nation's energy system and create jobs

Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee will help guide a national initiative that unleashes public universities to help increase energy independence and spur economic growth.

The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) today (3/24) launched the effort which brings together fifteen universities from across the country in recognition of the unique role America's public research universities can play in achieving energy independence.

The Energy Initiative Advisory Committee will be co-chaired by President Gee and Elsa A. Murano, president of Texas A&M University.

"We have in this country, and in our institutions of higher education, an innovation imperative," said Gee. "We must solve the enormous challenge of energy independence by coalescing our vast human talent, creativity, and innovation. This century's Sputnik moment awaits our solution."

In announcing the advisory committee, NASULGC President Peter McPherson said, "America's public research universities have long played a significant role in the research, development and deployment of in energy science and energy technologies. Collectively, we can channel the way for making more of these contributions a reality."

The Energy Initiative also includes two subcommittees, a Technical Group and an Advocacy Group. The Technical Group brings together expertise from a variety of robust public research universities to advise policymakers on complex technological and research issues. The Advocacy Group, co-chaired by Stacy Rastauskas from Ohio State, will identify and assess relevant legislation, promote public research university interests before Congress, and help develop presentations for Congress.

President Gee already has advocated for national energy policies to help create more Ohio jobs and develop sustainable energy solutions. Last month, Gee joined the Brookings Institution and others to unveil a proposal aimed at accelerating energy research. The proposal calls for increased federal funding for sustainable energy programs and the creation of a national network of regional energy-oriented research centers largely based at universities in partnership with laboratories.

Ohio State is conducting a great deal of promising research on new energy development, including more than $10 million last year alone on work sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Already second only to Duke in industry-sponsored research, Gee says the university stands ready to partner with private industry, government, our national laboratories, Battelle, and other institutions to grow jobs and industries.

The Ohio State University dedicates more than 120 faculty to the nation's quest for environmentally sustainable energy solutions that promote economic growth in Ohio and safeguard our planet. Comprehensive teams from America's largest university build on extensive agricultural-bioscience expertise to sequester carbon, refine carbon-trading, generate cleaner, less expensive and renewable power and protect natural resources. Ohio State researchers track the effect of climate change on water resources from retreating glaciers to rising sea levels and water tables across the globe. The university is partnering with advanced materials experts to make solar energy collection even more commercially viable. And, through the nation's oldest and most accomplished Center for Automotive Research (CAR), it is creating market viable solutions to sustainable transportation systems and devising energy technologies that increase the energy efficiency of automobiles and power plants.
SEE: http://www.nasulgc.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?pid=1195&srcid=183