SFU furthers collaboration with Indian Oil on hydrogen and fuel cell tech research

SIMON Fraser University and India’s flagship national oil company, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Ltd, furthered the collaboration they announced earlier this year with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Tuesday in New Delhi.

The signing took place during the B.C. Premier’s India Mission and builds on an agreement between SFU and IOC to partner on hydrogen and fuel cell research. The research will focus particularly on clean energy technology and advanced materials.

SFU is a leader in fuel cell research, heading a national network for fuel cell innovation and participating in projects with world-class companies such as Ballard Power Systems.

“SFU is internationally recognized for its expertise in hydrogen and other clean energy technologies, and we are excited about the collaborative initiatives we are developing with Indian Oil,” said SFU President Andrew Petter. “This partnership will facilitate exchanges that allow SFU faculty and students to conduct research in IOC’s world-class R&D facilities, while providing IOC researchers opportunities to work at SFU, furthering the field globally.”

In January 2015, two Indian nationals will undertake post-graduate studies at SFU as part of the partnership’s new PhD agreement—an opportunity that has drawn great response from nearly 100 eligible applicants.

Under the arrangement, Indian Oil is providing a fellowship towards the SFU PhD program which will allow Indian citizens to spend one year at SFU and a further three years at Indian Oil’s R&D Centre.  SFU will provide a stipend and tuition award during the year at SFU.

“This program will expose students to expertise, techniques and technologies that will broaden their research perspectives,” said SFU Vice President Research Joy Johnson. “In turn, it will enrich the overall research capacity of both Indian Oil and SFU while also building relationships to stimulate innovation.”

SFU Dean of Applied Sciences Nimal Rajapakse said: “This partnership will reap benefits for both Indian Oil and SFU, while advancing the field on a global scale. For SFU students and researchers, it is an opportunity to work with India’s leading fuel company and experience the unique opportunities associated with India’s growing demand for sustainable energy.”

Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk said: “SFU’s partnership with Indian Oil is a great example of collaboration and innovation in post-secondary education. This trade mission is an excellent opportunity to strengthen our connections with India and highlight B.C. as a destination of choice for students and researchers.”