International Energy Cooperation Center Established at University of Maryland

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Sung Joo Lee (KETEP) and Dr. Eric Wachsman (UMD) sign agreement

During the inaugural United States – Korean Critical and Emerging Technologies (CET) Dialogue in December 2023, the United States (US) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) welcomed enhanced cooperation between the governments, industry, and academia across many technology domains including policies and planning; technologies and research; and commercialization and deployment, all to support economy-wide decarbonization in the US and the ROK. Specific domains included supply chains and technology; biotechnology and biomanufacturing; batteries and clean energy technology; and quantum.

U.S. Energy Secretary Granholm and Korean Minister Lee discussed ways that the US and the ROK may cooperate to strengthen clean energy technology supply chains and collaborate on clean energy technology demonstrations and deployment.  The two affirmed the need to promote clean energy partnerships through people-to-people exchanges, investments, and R&D cooperation between experts on areas of mutual agreement.

To follow up the two governments' discussion, Dr. Eric Wachsman, Director of the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute (MEI2) and University of Maryland (UMD) Distinguished University Professor, and Dr. Sang Bok Lee, UMD Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Director of the Maryland NanoCenter, have worked together with Office of Energy Policy of the Korean Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) for a cooperative agreement to establish the Korea - US Energy Cooperation Center at MEI2/UMD.  As a direct result, on Wednesday, March 14, 2024, Dr. Eric Wachsman, signed the cooperative agreement with Sung Joo Lee, Executive Director of Office of Energy Policy and Principal Investigator of Korea-US Energy Cooperation Center. The signing launches the Korea - US Energy Cooperation Center at MEI2/UMD to coordinate cooperation between US and Korea researchers. Other work force contributors from KETEP for the agreement include Sang Joo Baek, Team Manager of International Cooperation Division and Jeongyong Kim, Director of Finance, Accounting and Contract Division.

“The University of Maryland has been a leader in developing new energy technologies and advancing energy innovation particularly in the areas of energy storage and energy efficiency. The need for these energy technologies is a global issue and we are excited to expand our international efforts with the establishment of this US and Korean Energy Cooperation Center at UMD.” said Wachsman.

“KETEP is an organization under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy of Korea responsible for planning, evaluating, and managing energy R&D. We anticipate that not only UMD but also outstanding universities, research institutes, and companies in the US will be able to enhance energy R&D collaboration with excellent research institutions in Korea.” said Lee.

Both governments, as well as UMD and KETEP, are committed to spurring research, innovation, and technology deployment; promoting joint demonstration projects; and expanding clean energy jobs to advance clean energy and decarbonization efforts.

Published March 26, 2024