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ASU-Tec De Monterrey award boosts research projects in renewable energy

September 28, 2007

For the second year in a row, Arizona State University (ASU) and the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) have jointly awarded $200,000 for two collaborative research projects. This year’s theme was renewable energy.

After a competitive, peer-reviewed selection process, each team was awarded $100,000 from an international research fund established in 2006 by ASU President Michael Crow and ITESM System President Rafael Rangel.

The fund is the first of its kind between partner universities or with a Mexican institution. Both institutions are committed to sustaining the grant program for three years.

“The Collaborative on Energy Research Grant Program provides unprecedented opportunities for researchers from the U.S. and Mexico to work together in addressing issues that span our common border and to emphasize collaborative research programs and faculty researcher exchanges,” says Anthony (Bud) Rock, vice president for global engagement.

“Based on the review of the grant selection committee, the proposals were deemed to embody the purpose of the program in advancing inter-institutional cooperation in science, technology and scholarly activities that have a direct application in industry or government through the complementary efforts of scientists and scholars from ASU and ITESM,” says Stephen Goodnick, associate vice president for research at ASU.

For the 2007 awards, the first research project is being led by Ana Moore of ASU and Marcelo Videa of ITESM regarding green hydrogen production using a photoelectrochemical biofuel cell, a process that converts solar energy to chemical energy. The second project, led by A. M. Kannan of ASU and S. Velumani of ITESM, deals with developing more efficient proton exchange membrane fuel cells, a highly effective and clean alternative energy source through Nano-engineered electrocatalysts supported on carbon nanotubes.

ASU researchers are faculty members – Moore is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the Center for Bioenergy and Photosynthesis within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the Tempe campus; and Kannan is an associate professor in the Department of Electronic Systems within the College of Science and Technology at the Polytechnic campus.

This is the second year grants have been awarded to ASU-ITESM research teams. Last year’s winners received grants for research projects in biotechnology.

A bi-national committee consisting of administrators and professors from both institutions decide the focus for each year’s request for research proposals.

Grant funding will be distributed through the ASU Office for Research and Sponsored Project Administration, and the ITESM Office of the Dean of Research and Graduate Students.

The two principal objectives for the “Collaborative Research Grant Program” are to provide seed funding to support the completion of such inter-institutional projects, and the development and submission of proposals for external funding of research from competitive granting agencies, both domestic and international (including NSF, NIH, DOE, World Bank, NATO, UNESCO, CONACyT, etc.) and industry.

Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey is the largest private university system in Mexico and one of the largest in Latin American, with 33 campuses and 12 international satellite offices.

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The Office of the Vice President for Global Engagement leads ASU in advancing globally by establishing and maintaining strong relationships, supporting globally-focused programs of study, research and student mobility, and creating international strategic partnerships with key institutions around the world. For more information, visit

Photos of the ASU researchers are available for download at:

Stephen M. Goodnick,
(480) 965-1225

D.D. Kullman,
(480) 727-8269 direct line / (602) 703-2888 cell

Office of the Vice President for Global Engagement
Arizona State University
Tempe, Arizona USA