‘Partnering with top Indian institutes on decarbonisation R&D’

India can influence global energy transition by exploring its traditional frugal engineering: Shell

Published - July 04, 2024 09:36 pm IST - Bengaluru

Under its academic partnership, Open Innovation, Shell, the London-based oil and gas major says it has partnered with top Indian educational institutions to push deep research in various areas including decarbonisation to support its global energy transition.

Ajay Mehta, VP and Chief Engineer R&D, Shell India told The Hindu, “These partnerships aim to foster innovation and accelerate decarbonisation efforts in the energy sector to support the global energy transition.”

Shell has so far collaborated with more than 15 Indian institutes on initiatives like decarbonisation, technology development, knowledge exchange, and start-up incubation. Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, IIT Madras, National Chemicals Lab, Pune, and TERI, New Delhi are some of these institutions. 

These partnerships focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and innovations such as low-carbon fuels, distributed electrification, carbon sinks, hydrogen generation, efficient power and refrigeration cycles using supercritical carbon dioxide, and so on.

‘’We’ve had these academic partnerships of course, in the Western world for many decades, whether it be the United States or across Europe. But in India, we have focused on specific areas of interest with some of our academic partners,’‘ Mr. Mehta said.

He added, ‘‘One of the things that I’ve always marveled about India is its frugal engineering. That is something good for India, good for the world. And I think the more we tap into this broader open innovation system, whether it be through academic partnerships or leveraging things with incubators, startup companies, I think that’s how we can make an impact on the energy transition.’‘

With IISc alone, the British firm has 14 ongoing research projects as part of a Master Research Agreement ranging from computational science, catalysis, and biofuels, Mr, Mehta said. The partnership seeks to build on cutting-edge energy and environment-related research at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Energy Research (ICER) at IISc.

Recently, the firm launched the Shell IITM Centre for Energy Research (SICER) in partnership with IIT Madras. This collaboration for five years is expected to promote innovation, research, development, piloting, and commercialisation of technologies in the energy sector.

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