USF Awarded $8.75 Million as Part of Renewable Energy Research Consortium

TAMPA, Fla. (Jun. 25, 2008) – The state of Florida is providing $50 million in research funding to several Florida universities participating in the newly created Florida Energy Systems Consortium. The funding for the new consortium is aimed at furthering the efforts of Florida’s university-based researchers to continue developing not only renewable energy systems - including energy solar and biomass sources - but also to help Florida's universities educate a future workforce for the renewable energy industry. Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed into law the measure creating the consortium and awarding the funding Wednesday in Miami, giving the University of Florida $15 million and awarding $8.75 million each to the University of South Florida, the University of Central Florida and Florida State University.

According to Yogi Goswami, John and Naida Ramil professor in the USF College of Engineering and co-director of USF's Clean Energy Research Center (CERC), creating the consortium means that for the first time, Florida's university-based researchers will be working together and collaboratively to find innovative, clean energy sources.

"Each partner will bring certain strengths," said Goswami. "USF has strengths in solar energy, clean transportation, biofuels, carbon capture and sequestration, and distributed power generation. These strengths will help the consortium achieve its goals."

Goswami specifically cited CERC's leadership in photovoltaic technologies and solar thermal technologies that already have a track record in attracting interest from the established clean energy industry.

USF's CERC has a mission to develop, evaluate and promote commercialization of new clean energy sources and systems, such as hydrogen, fuel cells, solar energy conversion and biomass, to meet the needs of the electric power and transportation sectors through multi-disciplinary research, technical and infrastructure development and information transfer.

The University of South Florida is among the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community engaged public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It is one of Florida's top three research universities. USF was awarded more than $300 million in research contracts and grants last year. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 45,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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