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Cablegate: Reykjavik Requests Embassy Science Fellow for 2008 Program

VZCZCXYZ0023
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRK #0067 1121809
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 211809Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3629
INFO RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0367

UNCLAS REYKJAVIK 000067

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/NB, EUR/PPD ANDREA STRANO, OES/STC EILEEN KANE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TSPL KSCA SENV EAGR AMGT OTRA APER IC
SUBJECT: REYKJAVIK REQUESTS EMBASSY SCIENCE FELLOW FOR 2008 PROGRAM

1. (U) Post requests an Embassy Science Fellow to help strengthen
the bilateral science research ties between the U.S. and Iceland.
Embassy Reykjavik has designated the expansion of bilateral science
ties as a key priority in our FY2010 Mission Strategic Plan,
devoting an entire goal paper to the subject. Post believes that
enhanced ties in this area are of considerable importance in the
bilateral relationship and will prove materially beneficial to both
nations.

Post requests one fellow for the FY2008 program. We envision a
Fellow in one of the following areas (listed in priority order):

-- Starting Up a Renewable Energy Lab
-- Extreme temperature and pressure engineering (dealing with
superheated geothermal fluid in Deep Drilling)
-- Designing system for growing algae to produce biofuels
-- Designing system for raising fish in heated power plant effluent

Renewable Energy Laboratory: Iceland has considerable expertise in
the renewable energy fields of geothermal and hydropower and
virtually all of their electricity and home heating is produced by
renewable energy. The Icelandic government also acquired some
top-notch facilities and real estate when U.S. Naval Air Station
Keflavik closed in 2006. One of the institutions to grow out of the
former base is the Keilir Atlantic Center for Excellence, which was
formed as a collaborative effort of academic and local government,
to provide technical education and eventually university programs.
Keilir, with the support of the National Energy Authority and the
Icelandic Innovation Center, wants to combine the existing renewable
energy know-how with the existing buildings to create a renewable
energy laboratory along same concept as the U.S. National Renewable
Energy Lab in Colorado. Post feels that an expert in scientific
administration issues -- specifically, founding a new institution
and matching a vision statement with the resources at hand -- would
help the Icelanders start their project, and would build on U.S.
Dept. of Energy efforts in Iceland to date.

Extreme Temperature and Pressure Engineering: The International
Deep Drilling Program is a multi-national geothermal energy project
in Iceland that is drilling 5 kilometer deep wells to harness
potential geothermal power predicted to be ten times the power
harnessed at shallower depths. Among the issues the project faces
are the high temperatures (240 to 350 degrees Celsius) for drilling,
piping and instrumentation, as well as the scaling and corrosion in
pipes and turbines from geothermal fluid. Post met with a visiting
NASA engineer who mentioned that high temperature materials,
coatings, and instrumentation technologies developed by NASA may be
of use to this research effort. A science fellow in this field
would considerably boost the project's chances for success and set
the stage for productive follow-on collaboration.

Aquaculture as a Byproduct of Geothermal Energy: Byproducts of
geothermal power plants include a relatively pure carbon dioxide
stream and warm water. One of Iceland's publicly owned water and
power utilities is seeking to design a system to grow algae that
digest the carbon dioxide emissions. The algae could be used to
produce oils for a variety of uses, including biofuels or as food
additives. The same utility is also seeking to design a system that
uses the warm water effluent to farm fish. The utility has
approached post to determine whether U.S. scientific expertise --
specifically in designing the systems to accomplish the goals of
utilizing the power plant wastes -- might be available to further
research in this field.

2. (U) Administrative details: No foreign language skills are
necessary. It will be easier for post to provide housing for a
Summer Fellow, but otherwise Embassy Reykjavik does not have a
preference on timing. A minimum of six weeks is desired for the
Fellow. Visitors staying less than 90 days do not need a visa to
enter Iceland. A security clearance is not required for work.

3. (U) POC: Post's point of contact is Economic and Commercial
Officer Fiona Evans. She can be reached at evansfs@state.gov and
+354-562-9100, ext. 2295.

4. (U) Embassy Support: Although post has a very small housing
pool, there is a slim possibility of some housing availability this
summer. However, if a science fellow is available to support our
first-priority project (founding of a renewable energy lab), post
has a pledge of no-cost housing for the fellow from the Keilir
Atlantic Center for Excellence in Keflavik. Housing at Keilir would
be conveniently located to any of post's proposals and we are
exploring the possibility of obtaining transportation support from
the fellow's local sponsor. Post is committed to providing a work
space and logistical support where possible. Due to post's tiny
staff, we cannot provide in-country travel arrangements. These
proposals have country team approval.

KLOPFENSTEIN

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