The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, represented by George Smoot of the Physics Division, has signed an agreement with representatives of South Korea’s University of Incheon to explore the potential for joint scientific research in energy, biology, accelerators, cosmology, and space. The agreement, which was signed at 10:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday, September 23, in Incheon, Republic of Korea (6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, September 22, Pacific Daylight Time), calls for investigation of possible collaborations in which the University of Incheon would provide facilities and Berkeley Lab would provide research programs.

Says Smoot, “It is a great pleasure to be involved in an international effort such as Berkeley Lab is proposing with Korea, through Incheon University and the Songdo Science Park. Anticipating many exciting research projects – including climate and environmentally friendly energy research – I see Korea as a key portion of our engagement with East Asia.”

Following is the University of Incheon’s press release concerning the agreement.


University of Incheon
International Affairs
Tel: 82-32-835-9571
[email protected]

Joint Research on Environmental-Friendly Energy

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of Incheon Agree to Explore Future-Generation Approaches to the Problem of Energy

Incheon, Korea, Sep 23, 2009 – The U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the University of Incheon (UI) today announced they have entered into a joint development agreement to explore future-generation approaches to environmentally friendly energy. This announcement was made at a meeting between Dr. George Smoot, 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics laureate of LBNL and the environmental-friendly energy development team of UI, taking place September 22-23 in Songdo, Incheon.

LBNL and UI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on August 30, 2009 and agreed to examine the potential for establishing a research institution in the Songdo cluster of global campuses of Northeast Asian universities. The partners anticipate that the research institution will span several areas – the environmental-friendly energy research already mentioned, synthetic biology, cosmology, accelerators, and possibly other areas developing in the future.

“We think it’s important to pursue research that could accelerate the use of environmental-friendly energy since we believe they may play an integral role in diversifying the world’s energy sources. Developing next-generation processing technology will help broaden the choice of feedstocks,” Smoot said.

According to Clean Edge, which has been tracking the growth of clean-tech markets for nearly a decade, global revenues for solar photovoltaics, wind power, and biofuels expanded from $75.8 billion in 2007 to $115.9 billion in 2008. For the first time, one sector alone, wind, had revenues exceeding $50 billion. New global investments in energy technologies—including venture capital, project finance, public markets, and research and development—expanded by 4.7 percent from $148.4 billion in 2007 to $155.4 billion in 2008, according to research firm New Energy Finance.

According to Clean Edge research:

• Biofuels (global production and wholesale pricing of ethanol and biodiesel) reached $34.8 billion in 2008 and are projected to grow to $105.4 billion by 2018. In 2008 the global biofuels market consisted of more than 17 billion gallons of ethanol and 2.5 billion gallons of biodiesel production worldwide. For the first time, ethanol leader Brazil obtained more than 50 percent of its total national automobile transportation fuels from bioethanol, eclipsing petroleum use for the first time in any major market.

• Wind power (new installation capital costs) is projected to expand from $51.4 billion in 2008 to $139.1 billion in 2018. Last year’s global wind power installations reached a record 27,000 MW. In the U.S., which accounted for more than 8,000 MW, wind installations represented more than 40 percent of total new electricity generating capacity brought online in 2008 – and moved the U.S. ahead of Germany as the world’s leading generator of wind energy.

• Solar photovoltaics (including modules, system components, and installation) will grow from a $29.6 billion industry in 2008 to $80.6 billion by 2018. Annual installations reached more than 4 GW worldwide in 2008, four times the total set just four years earlier, when the solar PV market reached the 1 GW milestone for the first time in 2004

• Clean Edge projected these three benchmark technologies, which equaled $75.8 billion in 2007 and expanded 50 percent to $115.9 billion in 2008, to grow to $325.1 billion within a decade.

George F. Smoot III (born February 20, 1945) is an American astrophysicist and cosmologist, the co-winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physics with John C. Mather of NASA for work on the Cosmic Background Explorer satellite (COBE) that led to the measurement “…of the black body form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation.” This work helped cement the Big Bang theory of the Universe using COBE. According to the Nobel Prize committee, “the COBE project can also be regarded as the starting point for cosmology as a precision science.” Smoot is a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of physics at the University of California at Berkeley.

Press Contacts:

June Choi, University of Incheon, International Affairs, [email protected], 82-32-835-9571

Paul Preuss, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Communications Group, [email protected], 510-486-6249