Thursday, March 31, 2011
OU launches ambitious and innovative green research centerDuring the official launch of Oakland University's Clean Energy Research Center on Thursday, the School of Engineering and Computer Science and the OU INCubator welcomed hundreds of federal, state and local officials; community and business leaders; alternative energy industry representatives and others interested in a clean and prosperous future for Michigan.
"At a time when the struggles of our state and national economies appear in headlines every day of the week, and when the quality of our environment and our reliance on fossil fuels is no less important, we're excited to see this new center step forward as part of the solution," said Oakland University President Gary Russi.
Attendees of Thursday's event had the opportunity to learn a great deal about the ambitious partnership between SECS and OU INC, as well as to view a variety of cutting-edge demonstrations and exhibits offered by the CERC, OU INC client companies and other clean energy enterprises and organizations.
The center has garnered support through an initial grant from the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth and its private-sector partner Energy Systems Group, as well through a number of public and private organizations committed to the greening and revitalization of Michigan and the nation.
"Today's tremendous and enthusiastic turnout simply confirms what immense potential the green industries have in Michigan's future," said David Spencer, executive director of OU INC. "Our goal will be to put powerful and proven business tools in the hands of entrepreneurs with the creativity, ambition and dedication to help put the state's 21st century economy into high gear."
The CERC will focus it efforts on industrial energy audits, commercialization of new technology, securing investment capital and transferring clean and alternative energy technologies to existing infrastructure. While developing an educational platform that enables OU faculty and students to research and develop clean energy alternatives, it will also look to build commercial partnerships with Michigan businesses.
Projects will target the development and enhancement of energy efficient technologies and advanced lighting, combined heat and power, solar, biomass, wind and geothermal systems. In fact, multiple projects have been completed or are in various stages of development.
As part of its academic mission, the CERC will provide students and faculty with the best hands-on, real-world learning environment possible, particularly through outreach and economic development initiatives.
"Oakland University has long been successful in offering its students a strong theoretical and practical foundation in professional education," said Louay Chamra, Dean of the School of Engineering and Computer Science. "Without question, the CERC will expand opportunities for our students and ultimate make our industry and our quality of life better in countless ways."
To learn more about the CERC, its projects, client companies and more, visit oakland.edu/cerc.