The University of British Columbia (UBC) has entered into a $4.9m research partnership with Germany’s Fraunhofer Society to advance clean energy research in five core areas, from wind energy to zero emission vehicles.

The three-year partnership will support collaboration on biomass-to-energy conversion, fuel-cell and hydrogen technologies, wind-turbine manufacturing, electrolysis and industrial aspects of solar-cell technology.

This tie-up builds on the strengths of UBC’s Clean Energy Research Center and UBC’s Campus as a Living Laboratory initiative, where researchers, students and partners develop and demonstrate sustainable solutions to the operational needs of communities.

UBC Research & International vice president Prof. John Hepburn said that partnership will allow both the institutions to accelerate solutions for sustainability challenges facing the world.

Fraunhofer ISE Energy Technology head Dr. Christopher Hebling said that both partners do not only provide excellent research in this field, but also stand out due to their common strategy for cooperation with the industry.

"The partnership is also a key component of UBC’s International strategy to actively link with other global leaders to further knowledge discovery, development and demonstration that will benefit current and future generations," added Hepburn.

The deal follows UBC’s recent partnership with the Max Planck Society, another major German research organization.

Fraunhofer Society is an applied research institution. It has over 60 institutes and 21,000 employees across Germany, with expertise in commercialisation, industry partnerships and applied research.