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Bill DiBenedetto headshot

ExxonMobil, MIT Hook Up on $25 Million Energy Initiative

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ExxonMobil will chip in $25 million over five years as a founding member of the MIT Energy Initiative, a collaboration aimed at “working together to advance and explore the future of energy.”

Under the agreement:


  • The $25 million will support “faculty and research efforts”

  • ExxonMobil will collaborate with MIT on a “wide range” of projects, including research to improve and expand renewable energy sources and find more efficient ways to produce and use conventional hydrocarbon resources

  • MIT will establish 10 ExxonMobil Energy Fellows each year for graduate students

On the latter point, the agreement will allow 50 graduate students over five years to pursue research of their choosing that, according to Maria Zuber, MIT vice president of research in a press release, “furthers their education and training, and that furthers our common knowledge of the energy system as it exists today and the innovations that will make up our energy system of tomorrow.”

“At MIT, we find that working closely with industry alerts us to real-world problems and opportunities for progress,” said MIT President Rafael Reif. “There is simply no better way to ensure that our research has an impact in the world,” he continued. “That concept is at the heart of our long and successful relationship with ExxonMobil.

MITEI “is a great example of a university-industry collaboration that is searching for technological solutions to the world’s current and future energy challenges. Access to reliable and abundant sources of energy is and will continue to be essential for societal progress,” said TJ Wojnar Jr., president of ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company (EMRE).

Wojnar added that under the agreement ExxonMobil is looking to better understand potential breakthroughs outside of its core expertise and “push the envelope in exploring innovations.” He said, “We are laying the groundwork for new innovations that can deliver efficient, scalable and responsible ways to bring affordable energy to global markets.”

That $25 million is slated to go a long way to push the envelope on innovation and explore the “future of energy.” MITEI welcomed ExxonMobil as a founding member during a signing ceremony on October 31. On the same day the oil giant announced preliminary third quarter results in which it reported earnings of nearly $8.1 billion and almost $26 billion for the first nine months of 2014. It’s pretty obvious where Exxon’s vision of the energy future really lies. Just sayin’

Image credit: MITEI logo via MIT

Bill DiBenedetto headshotBill DiBenedetto

Writer, editor, reader and generally good (okay mostly good, well sometimes good) guy trying to get by.

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