Georgia Institute of Technology and NREL Announce Plans to Collaborate

<p>Screen capture of the virtual meeting to commemorate the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Georgia Tech.</p>

Screen capture of the virtual meeting to commemorate the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Georgia Tech.

The Georgia Institute of Technology and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have entered into an agreement to bolster the interactions, collaborations, and joint scientific output of both institutions. The goals of this collaborative arrangement are to:

  • Solve Big Problems by leveraging the integrated full weight of intellectual capabilities and infrastructure of both parties in a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional manner.
  • Sustain and Engage Human Capital by exposing a pipeline of talent to problems of practical importance and complex nature early in their academic programs.
  • Accelerate Technology Adoption by introducing new ideas, science, and technology into the industrial and federal marketplace of jointly developed intellectual property.

“Building deep, substantive partnerships to impact society's most urgent challenges is a major priority for Georgia Tech's research enterprise,” said Chaouki Abdallah, executive vice president for research at Georgia Tech. “We are excited about the possibilities for collaborative, innovative energy-related research with NREL, which has the potential to improve human lives and the world at large."

The five-year agreement was formally acknowledged during a virtual Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signing event on June 17, jointly organized by Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute (SEI) and NREL.

It is anticipated that the collaborative projects between the two institutions will:

  • Support goals that are complementary to those held by both institutions
  • Share and leverage specialized, or unique research facilities and equipment
  • Increase inter-institutional collaborative engagement of faculty, staff, and students
  • Look for opportunities for additional joint research initiatives and joint appointments.

“We are excited about this MOU, which will facilitate expanded collaboration between NREL and Georgia Tech’s esteemed faculty and first-rate students,” said Peter Green, deputy laboratory director and science and technology officer at NREL. “Together we will leverage the significant intellectual, research, and infrastructure capabilities of both institutions to address some of the critical large-scale, complex research challenges facing industry during the energy transition.”

This agreement also acknowledges that the research landscape is evolving. Energy related research problems are becoming more complex. The pipeline of research talent is changing due to shifts in academic programs related to energy and to students’ level of interest in energy related research as a career. The potential long-term benefits of creating and disseminating new energy technologies for the public good is regarded by the academic community as an increasingly important consideration for the nation’s economy and prospects for energy security. Leaders from Georgia Tech and NREL agree that the outcomes that arise from this memorandum of understanding will advance our ability to deal with these evolving issues.

“Near term focus areas of this agreement include circular economy, efficient buildings, cybersecurity, and carbon capture,” said Tim Lieuwen, director of Georgia Tech’s Strategic Energy Institute. To that end, a series of webinars are planned for the near future on each of these topics to foster ideas and muster resources as this agreement is put into action.

To learn more about this partnership, please contact Tim Lieuwen (Director, SEI – Georgia Tech) or David Glickson (Communications and Public Affairs – NREL). You can also visit NREL's research organization partners page, or Georgia Tech’s research engagement page.


The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is a top 10 public research university developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition.

The Institute offers business, computing, design, engineering, liberal arts, and sciences degrees. Its nearly 40,000 students representing 50 states and 149 countries, study at the main campus in Atlanta, at campuses in France and China, and through distance and online learning.

As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech is an engine of economic development for Georgia, the Southeast, and the nation, conducting more than $1 billion in research annually for government, industry, and society.

News Contact

Brent Verrill, Research Communications Program Manager, BBISS