City welcomes strengthened energy research links with Brazil

City welcomes strengthened energy research links with Brazil

Links between Aberdeen and Brazil are set to be strengthened even further with the signing of an agreement between the University of Aberdeen, and UENF (State University of North Fluminense), Rio de Janeiro.

Appropriately, the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) takes place at the All Energy Exhibition and Conference, on the opening day of this flagship renewables event.

On Wednesday (May 24), the MoU will be signed by Professor Valdo Marques on behalf of Professor Raimundo Braz Filho, the Dean of UENF, and Professor Albert Rodger, Vice Principal and Head of the College of Physical Sciences, on behalf of the University of Aberdeen.

Aberdeen City Council is delighted to welcome the signing, which has evolved from the MoU between the Council and the State Government of Rio de Janeiro.

Professor Rodger is delighted that the University is building this very important link with the State University of North Fluminense. He said: “This is an excellent opportunity for the University of Aberdeen to work together with colleagues in Brazil and is great news for the city of Aberdeen.

“The signing of this agreement will enable us to engage in strategically important research and development projects in energy technologies, oil and gas, and renewables. In respect of renewable energy research this will take the form of projects linked to wind, wave and biomass derived energy and in respect of oil and gas research, we will be exploring joint projects in reservoir characterisation and drilling.”

Rita Stephen, Aberdeen City Council’s Head of Economic Development, said: “Since we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Rio de Janeiro in March 2000, we have organised a number of trade missions to Brazil, in partnership with the UK Trade & Investment and Scottish Development International, to help build strategic energy links with the fast-growing South American market. We have also hosted a number of inward delegations, seminars and networking events for our local businesses.

“As a result of the State Secretary’s interest, we were able to bring to Aberdeen some of Rio’s most influential players in renewable energy to explore how we can jointly build on our oil and gas links to accelerate the development of international renewable energy technology.

“We are absolutely delighted that the University of Aberdeen has played such a major role in these discussions, which have now led to their signing a memorandum of understanding with UENF.”

The move was initially discussed last year, when Aberdeen hosted a high-profile visit by a delegation from the State of Rio, who were keen to find out more about local research and development into renewable energies.

Last year’s Brazilian delegation to the World Renewable Energy Congress (WREC), which took place alongside All Energy, was led by Wagner Victer, the State Secretary for Energy, a keynote speaker at the conference.

The State Secretary had last visited the city when he led a delegation to Offshore Europe in 2003. During this visit Aberdeen City Council organised a bespoke renewable energy programme to highlight the research and developments taking place within the two universities and local industry.

As a direct result, Mr Wagner Victer returned to Aberdeen last year to explore future collaboration, accompanied by the Head of Renewable Energy for the State of Rio de Janeiro, Mr Luiz Almeida e Silva. Also with him was Professor Valdo Marques and another State University professor, both of whom were seeking to establish renewable energy centres in Rio.

During their visit, the delegation held discussions with Professor Paul Mitchell, Director of Research & Commercialisation, College of Physical Sciences, to look at the potential for future collaboration and international exchanges. The delegation also met local businesses involved in renewable energy at the All Energy Conference and Exhibition.

MOUs facilitate a mechanism for promotion, development and strengthening of business development opportunities between two regions. The Council currently has six, with:

- the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

- the Province of Nova Scotia, Canada

- the City of Torshavn, Faroe Isles

- the Province of Western Kazakhstan

- Tabasco State and the City of Villahermosa, Mexico

- the Province of Newfoundland, Canada.

The sixth All Energy 2006 is being held on May 24-25 at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

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