UNIST and Jülich to Lead the Renewable Energy Era

South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) celebrated the opening ceremony of the Jülich-UNIST Joint Leading Institute in Advanced Energy Research.

The official opening and signboard-hanging ceremony of the Jülich-UNIST Joint Leading Institute in Advanced Energy Research took place at UNIST on March 8, 2018. With the help of this center, UNIST will develop promising fundamental technologies that may provide the alternative energy sources of tomorrow.

The ceremony was held with a flourish by special appearance of the German Ambassador to Korea, Stephan Auer and President Moo Je Cho of the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), who also served as the 1st and 2nd President of UNIST. It was also attended by officials and heads at related organizations, such as Ulsan Deputy Mayor Hyung Su Kim for Economic Affairs, as well as IEK-5 Director Uwe Rau and IEK-9 Director Rüdiger-A. Eichel of the Jülich Research Centre, part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres.

This center was established through the support of the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and the Global Research & Development Center (GRDC) program by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF). It aims to achieve further acceleration of collaborative research on renewable energy sources through long-term dispatching of researchers and shared use of research facilities.

The center has secured 3.45 billion KRW in funding by 2030 from MSIT and 500 million KRW from Ulsan city. The center will be also receiving 500,000 Euros (660 million KRW) in matching funds and 100,000 Euros (240 million KRW) in actual article from Helmholtz foundation.

UNIST hopes this center will serve as a neutral platform for industry and academia collaboration, focusing on finding a solution to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop renewables, deliver economic benefits to society, and accomplish our common goal of developing a truly green energy future.

“The center aims to support collaborative research activities between South Korea and Germany,” says Professor Wook Jo in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at UNIST, who will direct overall collaborative effort at the joint research center.

He adds “Through the active participation by a broad range of domestic and international energy companies, like Bosch Co., Ltd., we hope the center will serve as a stepping stone towards the establishment of large-scale industry-university-institute cluster”.

The center will conduct research focusing on the “Analysis of Next Generation Energy Materials’, ‘Environmentally-friendly Solar Cells’, and ‘Alkali Metal Secondary Batteries’. These areas will also include the analysis and production of energy storage materials, the development of perovskite/silicon tandem solar cell materials and systems, development of solid/integrated lithium-sodium secondary batteries and lithium-air batteries .

Professor Wook Jo, Professor Kyoung Jin Choi, and Professor Myoung Hoon Song will lead the photovoltaics research, in collaboration with IEK-5 Director Uwe Rau of Jülich research centre. Professor Jae Sung Son, Professor Chaenyung Cha, and Professor Seok Ju Kang will join the secondary battery research, in collaboration with IEK-9 Director Rüdiger-A. Eichel of the Jülich Research Centre.

“Today’s announcement is the beginning of an unprecedented commitment by UNIST to renewable energy development and deployment, for years to come,” says President Mooyoung Jung of UNIST. “With Jülich’s help, I am confident we will achieve a remarkable result.”