The Lamp 2017

“Understanding the evolving world of energy helps ExxonMobil improve efficiency, mitigate emissions and gain a clear vision of the strongest, best science that supports policy decisions globally,” he says. “We also want to be aware of developments in alternative energy and new frontiers in science.” A new approach While ExxonMobil has been engaged for years in research with more than 80 universities across the globe, these new relationships go beyond traditional support. “We have long-established relationships with universities, conducting proprietary research Thomas, ExxonMobil’s scientific portfolio adviser for the University of Texas. “That work will continue, but this is different. The findings will be published, and ExxonMobil researchers work directly with the faculty and their graduate and postdoctoral students on those projects. Faculty members are excited about both the long- range focus of the work and the opportunity to collaborate with our in-house scientists.” The new strategy evolved from a long-standing relationship with Stanford University’s Global and participating in industry consortia,” explains Michele

joined as a founding member in 2002, committing $100 million for research. In 2012, ExxonMobil began looking at a different strategy to increase access to emerging research. “There was great diversification in the world of emerging energy research, far beyond what we could manage ourselves,” Matturro notes. “Our work with university energy centers is about creating new science capabilities for the company and a new awareness of where emerging energy technologies will go.” Crossroads for discovery After reviewing the capabilities of university energy centers around the world, four emerged as major crossroads for energy research, providing access to eminent scientists who could improve the company’s line of sight for leading-edge science and technology. In 2014, ExxonMobil became a founding member of the MIT Energy Initiative, investing $25 million, which supports students, postdoctoral fellows and 10 graduate energy fellowship appointments each year. In 2015, the company joined the Princeton E-filliates Partnership, which is administered by Princeton’s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. The program fosters collaboration

Yueh-Lin “Lynn” Loo, director of the Andlinger Center at Princeton University

Photo courtesy of Princeton University

between the university and industry in the pursuit of energy and environmental innovation. ExxonMobil committed $5 million, the largest financial commitment the program has received. And in August 2016, ExxonMobil announced its investment of $15 million in the UT Energy Institute. “All of these projects support future work and build capabilities and knowledge in areas that are adjacent to our core science and business,” notes Hans Thomann, who serves as scientific portfolio adviser for ExxonMobil’s projects at MIT. Currently, ExxonMobil is working with MIT researchers

on a variety of projects, including the areas of carbon capture and sequestration, photovoltaic devices, fundamentals of steel corrosion, data analytics and machine learning, to name a few. “At MIT, we find that working closely with the industry helps us identify problems with the greatest opportunity for impact at scale,” says MIT Energy Initiative Director Robert Armstrong. “In addition, this work facilitates the ultimate successful commercialization of any new technologies we develop. We are collaborating with ExxonMobil and a consortium of other companies engaged in our Low-Carbon Energy Centers to

Climate and Energy Project (GCEP), which ExxonMobil


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