Research Center inaugurated at Stanford University

Early in 2016 VILLUM FONDEN made the largest research grant ever of 150,000,000 DKK for the establishing of a new research center – “VILLUM Center for the Science of Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals”. The center is based at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), located just north of Copenhagen.
Part of the research activities will take place at University of Southern Denmark and at Stanford University in California. The inauguration was celebrated recently with the participation of the Danish Minister of Higher Education and Science, Ulla Tørnæs. At Stanford the research activities will be headed by professor Jens Nørskov, who used to work as a professor at DTU. 

Ulla Tørnæs

On April 4th the new education- and research center at Stanford University in California was inaugurated by Minister of Higher Education and Science, Ulla Tørnæs. The center recently received 45,000,000 DKK from VILLUM FONDEN. The center is an affiliation of a new large research center at DTU – “VILLUM Center for the Science of Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals”, headed by professor Ib Chorkendorff. Behind the Minister you can see professor Jens Nørskov, who will be heading the research group at Stanford and Director of Science Thomas Sinkjær from VILLUM FONDEN (Photo: Anja Wolff).

The Minister of Higher Education and Science, Ulla Tørnæs said: It is of paramount importance that we are able to cooperate across borders and with the involvement of both the private and public sectors. Considering the Danish strengths within renewable energy and the Californians’ expertise within energy storage, it is my hope that the joint efforts between Stanford University and the Danish universities will lead to sustainable solutions that we will all benefit from.

Professor Nørskov said: It is amazing that the VILLUM FONDEN has chosen to offer substantial support for the establishment of this scientific basis on DTU and Stanford, with the aim of understanding and defining energy conversion. It is essential for a future where we will no longer be dependent on fossil resources and the related CO2 emissions, but instead are going to develop new technologies, which can convert solar energy to fuels and basic chemicals. Here at Stanford we welcome the intensified scientific collaboration between Danish Universities and Stanford within energy research. 

Director of Science Thomas Sinkjær, VILLUM FONDEN said: For VILLUM FONDEN the inauguration represents a great symbol of the valuable international collaboration. Within the center, some of the world’s most talented scientists will have the opportunity to develop groundbreaking technology, which can replace the fossil resources with sustainable solutions.

Professor Ib Chorkendorff pointed out: It is important to be able to establish this kind of large-scale focused research projects, when the aim is to solve essential and complex technological issues. It makes it possible to gather some of the best talents within the field, each with their specific core competences, and deploy the synergic properties that arise in the wake of this cross-disciplinary effort to cope with the challenges.