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ASU signs agreement with USAID for clean energy training, education

May 13, 2011

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded a $10-million cooperative agreement (CA) to Arizona State University to lead a consortium of higher education institutions and service providers that offer clean energy training and education to develop and implement programs worldwide.

The agreement provides $3 million to build and develop the program and up to $7 million for country specific projects to be formed under the Vocational Training & Education for Clean Energy (VOCTEC) umbrella.

This multi-institutional, global effort led by the College of Technology and Innovation (CTI) on ASU’s Polytechnic campus is consistent with one of the college’s strategic initiatives in alternative energy education.

“This second USAID award will expand our capability as an educational institution to affect change that will aid in improved economies and standards of living for many overseas as well as in the U.S.,” said ASU President Michael M. Crow. “The award furthers the College of Technology and Innovation’s vision of becoming internationally recognized as a leader in alternative energy education.”

“The project will help to create curricula around the operation and maintenance of decentralized clean energy technologies,” said Mitzi Montoya, vice provost and dean of the College of Technology and Innovation. ASU’s role is focused on delivering training in the areas of solar and micro-grid technologies in conjunction with consortium partners Appalachian State University and Green Empowerment, who are responsible for training in wind energy and micro-hydro, respectively. 

The ASU CTI-led team will be headed by Govindasamy Tamizhmani, a research professor in the College of Technology and Innovation. Tamizhmani has more than 25 years of photovoltaic experience and will lead an ASU team of faculty from education, engineering, geography and psychology.

“I will interface with curriculum developers ensuring curriculum continuity and development throughout the process to deliver high quality results,” Tamizhmani said.

“The agreement also presents a great opportunity for ASU from a strategic global perspective, helping to develop networks in targeted countries in the developing world, including relationships with private and governmental sectors making clean energy investments in those countries,” said R.F. “Rick” Shangraw, ASU’s senior vice president for Knowledge Enterprise Development. 

“As ASU’s faculty members are working through this project, it presents an opportunity for the university to leverage USAID’s resources to maximize the global engagement outcomes,” said Shangraw. “We believe the effort has the potential to benefit thousands of people in several countries and also extend the impact of ASU on an international scale.”