Bank of America has joined Stanford University’s Global Climate & Energy Project (GCEP), a collaboration of academic and business experts that identifies and supports new avenues of research to make environmentally sustainable, low-cost energy available to everyone.
The GCEP collaboration expects to benefit from the bank’s expertise in financing sustainable businesses dedicated to addressing climate change and advancing low-carbon solutions. Bank of America is also working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations. Bank of America’s member on the GCEP management committee will be James Mahoney, the bank’s corporate communications and public policy executive.
All of humankind needs energy that is reliable, cleaner and more affordable. Meeting that need in both the developed and developing world requires an all-of-the-above approach to research, reducing emissions from using fossil fuels and developing renewable energy options.—GCEP director Sally Benson, a professor of energy resources engineering at Stanford
GCEP, founded 11 years ago, supports research not only at Stanford, but also at universities around the world. Ongoing interactions with the research organizations at GCEP’s corporate sponsors help sharpen the focus of the project’s fundamental science and engineering investigations.
GCEP has 111 full-term research programs and to date has invested $140 million in research. About 40% of the awards have gone to non-Stanford researchers at 39 institutions in the United States, Australia, China, Japan and Europe.
GCEP-supported investigations have led to advances in solar power, biomass energy, hydrogen fuels, advanced combustion, carbon capture and sequestration, fuel cells, electric vehicles and the electric grid.
Examples of the potentially transformative discoveries and inventions in GCEP’s portfolio of technologies include the identification of a gene that could help produce low-cost biofuels from environmentally friendly crops; optimized engine design for cars to radically improve fuel efficiency; and a technique to wirelessly charge electric vehicles on the road.
Several of GCEP’s studies have blossomed into multimillion-dollar research programs, including Caltech’s Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, the Bay Area Photovoltaic Consortium and the Stanford Center for Carbon Storage.
While Stanford and collaborating academic institutions hold legal title to all technology, patents and information derived from GCEP-funded research, corporate sponsors receive a royalty-free license to the patents. Participating universities and sponsors can license the technology to other entities.
Bank of America can help move GCEP technologies to commercialization.
The perspective they will bring not only on developing breakthrough energy and environmental technology, but also on the complexity of introducing those technologies into the marketplace, will be appreciated.—James Maughan, technical director at GE Global Research and member of GCEP’s management committee