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New centre reinforces Australia-India energy partnership

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Curtin University and the Indian School of Mines have agreed to establish and operate the Australia-India Joint Research Centre for Coal and Energy Technology.

By joining Australia’s and India’s premier energy research institutions the new centre will act as a platform for bilateral collaboration in research and technology development for both fossil fuels and renewable energy, with a focus on clean coal technologies.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry signed the agreement during a recent trip to India. She said the establishment of the joint research centre was important as India undergoes major economic development.

“This is a very important step for co-operation in energy technology development between the two countries, especially in light of the urgent global priority to secure cheap energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Professor Terry said.

The Australian node will be directed by John Curtin Distinguished Professor Chun-Zhu Li from the Fuels and Energy Technology Institute who said the clean energy technologies to be developed could bring substantial economic benefits to both Australia and India.

“The development of clean and economically competitive energy technologies will be vitally important for sustainable development in India while Australia is also facing a major challenge in meeting its ever-increasing demand for clean energy,” Professor Li said.

The centre’s deputy director Associate Professor Hari Vuthaluru said with increasing population, the demand for effective coal utilisation and efficient utility operations in India will become inevitable.

“There is a big scope for the development of sustainable technologies which could potentially lead to environmentally clean energy”, Associate Professor Vuthaluru said.

The joint research centre was developed in response to a joint statement in November 2014 by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, welcoming the intention to explore opportunities for partnership between Australian institutions and the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad.

According to Prime Minister Abbott, Indian investment in the resource sector in Australia promises to create jobs and value for the Australian economy just as Australian investment in energy, infrastructure and other sectors can do for the Indian economy.

The new research centre will provide joint PhD training, technology development, student and staff exchange, shared use of research facilities, joint research projects and publications as well as workshops and symposia.

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