Eni and MIT: forging ahead together to produce the energy of the future

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Eni and MIT: forging ahead together to produce the energy of the future

Scientific research partnership renewed for another four years.

MIT president Rafael Reif and Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi are in Rome discussing cutting-edge research in the field of low-carbon technology and their future plans.

The agreement confirms both Eni’s status as a founding member of the MITEI (MIT Energy Initiative) and its support for research at three of MITEI’s Low-Carbon Energy Centers. Low-Carbon Energy Centers are a crucial part of MIT’s Plan for Action on Climate Change and fit perfectly with Eni’s commitment to energy transition and fighting climate change. 

Some images of the event and the interviews with Robert Armstrong, Director of the MIT Energy Initiative; Giuseppe Tannoia Director of Research and Technological Innovation Eni and Francesca Ferrazza Knowledge Management System Vice President of Eni.

MIT, the top academic institution worldwide for breakthrough innovation, is the ideal partner to address research in key technologies that can lead us towards an increasingly cleaner future.

Claudio Descalzi

Current research projects arising from the partnership between Eni and MIT focus on five main areas related to the energy sector. All are highly innovative and involve cutting-edge technology:

  • Nanotechnology for solar energy production
  • Environment: technology to capture, store and use CO2 and advanced environmental classification techniques
  • Energy storage: research projects on new generation flow batteries
  • Traditional O&G: advanced oil field and oil system modelling projects
  • HSE: developing sensors and systems to improve safety at work

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    Eni presents a programme dedicated to solar energy as part of its research and development work.

    2007
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    Five-year energy research partnership signed in Boston. Eni becomes a founding member of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI).

    2008
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    First solar cell based on nanostructures (quantum dots) developed in the laboratory.

    2009
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    Solar Frontiers Center unveiled in Cambridge (Masachusetts), promoting research into advanced solar technology – from new photovolstaic materials to the production of hydrogen from solar energy.

    2010
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    Low-temperature technology with a low environmental impact used to create solar cells on paper.

    2011
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    Research programme in partnership with MITEI in Cambridge, Massachusetts, renewed for another four years. Eni-MIT Energy Society founded at Boston Public Library.

    2013
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    Field testing of Safety++, a system of wearable monitoring and alarm technology to ensure workers’ safety in risky environments.

    2015
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    Full-size prototype of a concentrated solar power (CSP) system created in collaboration with Milan Polytechnic University.

    2016
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    Renewal of the strategic alliance between Eni and MIT for another four years cements Eni’s position as one of the institution’s leading industrial sponsors.

    2017
 

Together we retrace the main events in our collaboration with the most prestigious research institute in the world.

Upstream

Upstream

Innovative upstream solutions

Alfonso Amendola, a young researcher at Eni, spent a month in MIT’s Boston laboratories, working on experiments that aim to make technology transfer more direct and efficient. In this interview he reflects briefly on the integrated approach to innovation for which MIT is renowned.

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Solar energy

Solar energy

New solar energy technologies

Andrea Bernardi is the head of Eni’s advanced organic photovoltaic project (Advanced OPV), one of the most cutting-edge pieces of technology to arise from the partnership between Eni and MIT. The aim of the project is to create solar panels using polymers instead of silicon, thus making them cheaper and more versatile.

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Renewables

Renewables

Intelligent windows

Whether clear or coloured, the luminescent solar concentrators (LSCs) absorb the sun’s light and re-emit it at a longer wavelength. The radiation gravitates towards the edges, as in an optical fibre, making them luminescent. Small photovoltaic cells then transform the radiation received into electricity.

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Roberto Casula describes his collaboration with MIT

Last October, Eni was invited to give a talk at MIT on the eve of the MIT Energy Initiative’s External Advisory Board meeting. This was a highly prestigious event involving Roberto Casula, chief development, operations and technology officer at Eni.

Casula’s speech covers a wide range of topics and outlines the great challenges Eni faces: how to ensure access to energy while fighting climate change.

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