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Partnership To Accelerate Low-carbon Research In NZ

Infratec and the MacDiarmid Institute have signed a ground-breaking agreement to accelerate New Zealand based research into low carbon energy solutions.

The recently signed Memorandum of Understanding will advance academic research, education and development around materials and storage for low carbon energy. It brings together world leading New Zealand research labs under the umbrella of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, and Infratec, a world leading low carbon energy developer.

Under the MOU, Infratec and the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnolgy will work together to develop training facilities such as research sites and product demonstrators with New Zealand academia.

The MOU will see Infratec host graduates from the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology as interns, with a particular focus on supporting existing student research, applying new technologies and helping provide industrial exposure. The internship programme also aims to help graduates to further their academic or industrial careers.

Greg Visser, CEO of Infratec said, “This exciting MOU strengthens existing relationships between Infratec and academia which have seen us teaching, writing papers and supporting research with universities around the world. We’re also excited to get more smart science graduates into our organisation, to show them what it’s like working in the field and to help enhance our product offering to our customers.”

In the long term, Infratec hopes to share real site data with researchers and academics from the MacDiarmid Institute to inform the design and operation of new technologies. It will also enhance the long-term benefits Infratec can offer to its customers through new knowledge and technologies, and may help to facilitate relationships between New Zealand and foreign universities in countries where Infratec works – such as collaborative research or educational programmes.

“The MOU will create new opportunities for academia in low carbon research, enhance the already leading energy research being conducted in New Zealand, and ultimately deploy new technology into the electricity grid. That’s something we all want as we strive to achieve net zero carbon emissions and to reduce energy poverty,” Greg Visser said.

Professor Justin Hodgkiss, Co-Director of the MacDiarmid Institute, said, “Working with a company like Infratec that is deploying new technology in renewable energy microgrids enables our researchers and graduates to have greater impact when bringing our research-based tech — such as solar, new batteries and other low carbon energy technologies — to market. Award winning projects like the one delivering mini-grids on four of the Cook Islands (Atiu, Mangaia, Mauke and Mitiaro) show a commitment to technical excellence and community development that aligns well with our institute.”

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