In November 2009, President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao announced the establishment of the Clean Energy Research Centers (CERC), the primary purpose
of which is to facilitate joint research and development on clean energy technology by teams of scientists and engineers from the United States and China.
U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang, and Chinese National Energy Administrator Zhang Guobao signed the CERC Protocol on November 17,2009, launching the Center. As the world's top energy consumers, energy producers, and greenhouse gas emitters, the U.S. and China will play leading roles in the world's transition to a clean energy economy in the years ahead. Over the long-term, it is significant to note that much of the energy-consuming infrastructure of the 21 st century that will benefit from this work has yet to be built.
Recognizing that energy use in vehicles represents both challenges and opportunities for our two countries, the United States and the People's Republic of China have chosen University of Michigan and Tsinghua University to lead a consortium of experts to collaborate in the field of clean vehicles under the CERC's auspices. The vision for the Clean Vehicles Collaboration (CVC) is to contribute to dramatic improvements in technologies with potential to reduce the dependence of vehicles on oil and improve vehicle fuel efficiency. The CERC-CVC will build a foundation of knowledge, technologies, human capabilities, and relationships in mutually beneficial areas that will position the United States and China for a future with very low environmental impact and highly efficient clean vehicles. The collaboration will advance technologies for clean vehicles through joint research and development.
The CERC-CVC will bring together academia, national laboratories, and industry into a consortium of exceptional intellectual strength and expertise in key engineering, natural science, and social science areas. The U.S.-China teams in each of the major research thrust areas will focus on maximizing collaborative efforts and leveraging the respective strengths of the research partners in order to both accelerate invention and commercial success through close ties with industry partners in both countries.
CERC-CVC aims to be the leading US-China effort in the clean vehicle arena by performing both long-range transformational and translational research to bring discoveries and technologies to market. Successful demonstration of the proposed CV technologies will involve strategic partners from industry in the U.S. and China, including leading OEMs in the transportation and energy sectors, suppliers and innovation companies.
In order to build a strong and collaborative research program, the University of Michigan and the Tsinghua University – led teams plan to jointly organize and participate in an annual technical workshop. The workshop will bring together both U.S. and Chinese participants working on the collaboration. The workshop will focus on: exchanging information on current research activities and emerging developments, identifying high-priority research needs and planning mutually beneficial, collaborative work areas for research and projects to be undertaken under the auspices of the CERC.