The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Eni have renewed their low-carbon energy research collaboration by extending the Italian energy giant's tenure as a founding member of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) till 2023, MIT and Eni said in a statement.
Eni will join the Mobility Systems Center, MITEI's newest Low-Carbon Energy Centre and its Quest for Intelligence (MIT Quest), which seeks to advance research in human and machine intelligence and deliver transformative new technology for society, the statement said.
"MIT's collaboration with Eni has produced several innovative advances in energy research and technologies for over a decade," said MITEI Director Robert C. Armstrong.
"We look forward to the developments that will come from Eni's continued support in fusion, solar, carbon capture, and other research areas, as well as from their new support of artificial intelligence projects through the MIT Quest for Intelligence."
Working with MIT Quest will help Eni deepen its longstanding interest in supporting artificial intelligence research to improve worker safety and reduce carbon emissions through carbon capture and other technologies, according to the statement.
"Thanks to our renewed collaboration with MIT, Eni takes a further step towards data-driven innovation," Eni's CEO Claudio Descalzi said.
Eni has been embracing digitalization for the past three decades, he underlined.
"With today's agreement we wish to play a key role in the research and innovation of new technologies, and look forward with more confidence to a future based on the circular economy," Descalzi added.
Cooperation between MIT and Eni has resulted in numerous research successes and 30 patent filings for low-carbon technologies and innovations since it began over a decade ago in 2008, said the statement.
Ongoing joint research projects include the development of nanotechnologies and materials for lightweight, flexible solar photovoltaics that have great potential to provide low-carbon energy, it said.
Advancing magnetic fusion energy technology has since last year been a major focus of cooperation between MIT and Eni, the statement noted.
As an emissions-free, safe, and scalable technology, fusion energy has the potential to play a major role in decarbonizing global energy systems and Eni will continue to support magnetic fusion energy research through MIT's Laboratory for Innovation in Fusion Technologies, it added.
Eni will also continue its membership of MITEI's Low-Carbon Energy Centres for Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage; Energy Storage; and Solar Energy, the statement said.
"We look forward to working with Eni on research that can make an impact on people and the planet, especially by helping to address the climate crisis," said Antonio Torralba, the director of MIT's Quest and a professor in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.