Editor's note: this was originally posted on NETL's website.

NETL welcomed representatives from 13 universities nationwide this week to share their successes in strategic fossil energy research areas including advanced combustion, oil and gas, carbon capture, carbon storage, carbon use and reuse, gasification and fuel cell technologies.

The University Coalition for Fossil Energy Research (UCFER), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through NETL, hosted its annual technical review meeting at the Lab’s Pittsburgh site May 22-23. The six-year, $20-million initiative aims to tackle critical fossil energy research challenges in collaboration with partner universities.

“The annual technical review meeting provides a valuable opportunity for UCFER members to present their ongoing research and exchange ideas with NETL collaborators,” said Omer Bakshi, DOE project officer for UCFER.

The UCFER initiative launched in 2015 and continues through September 2021. To date, more than $6 million has been awarded to 23 projects in three rounds of funding. Representatives from eight schools attended the annual technical review meeting to provide updates on 17 active projects.

NETL Director Brian Anderson praised their work in addressing some of the nation’s most pressing fossil energy research problems and highlighted the value of partnerships in accelerating technology development.

“Early-stage research is essential in advancing innovative technologies that facilitate next-generation solutions, and we can’t do it alone,” Anderson said. “the NETL commitment to collaborative research with talented university partners helps us create a robust innovation ecosystem to meet America’s energy needs with domestic energy resources in the coming decades.”

Schools participating in the UCFER initiative include Carnegie Mellon University, Louisiana State University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State University, Princeton University, Texas A&M University, the University of Kentucky, the University of North Dakota, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Wyoming, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and West Virginia University. Chunshan Song, Ph.D., of Penn State, serves as the UCFER director.

Partnerships like UCFER help NETL leverage its connections, resources, and expertise to develop reliable, affordable, and timely energy technology solutions. By finding ways to cut costs and boost efficiency, innovations by NETL and its partners support home-grown energy initiatives that stimulate a growing economy and improve the health, safety and security of all Americans.