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March 20, 2024 | Tom Ballard

MOU will drive a new sustainable aviation initiative

The effort involves the Aviation Climate Taskforce Inc. and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The Aviation Climate Taskforce Inc. (ACT) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have joined forces through a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to bolster the collaboration and impact of both institutions in driving sustainable aviation.

ACT, with a charitable mission to shape the future of sustainable flight, has unveiled its latest endeavor known as the “Systemic Approaches for Aviation Research Initiative” (SAFARI). As the steward for SAFARI, ACT will oversee membership expansion and administration, leveraging NREL’s advanced systems analysis and technical capabilities in bridging researchers from disparate communities towards a cohesive and aligned research, design, development and demonstration network.

“Decarbonizing aviation demands unprecedented collaboration to de-risk dynamic supply chains and rapidly deploy new energy technologies,” said Doug Arent, NREL’s Executive Director of Strategic Public-Private partnerships. “NREL is committed to asking the right research questions, wielding the best tools for data-driven answers, and forming partnerships to accelerate existing federal, state, and industry programs and collaboration.”

NREL has decades of focused leadership in clean energy research, development, and deployment. From its work in basic sciences to systems engineering, modeling, testing, and analysis, NREL researchers are focused on solving high-priority problems that result in market-ready solutions. The laboratory’s sustainable aviation initiative aims to develop decarbonization pathways with a holistic perspective to address all energy aspects of the aviation ecosystem—from net-zero-carbon energy sources to infrastructure optimization and aircraft propulsion technologies.

According to the announcement, collaborative projects between ACT and NREL may encompass a wide spectrum of research areas, including aviation decarbonization pathways such as sustainable aviation fuel, hydrogen, electric propulsion, power-to-liquids; feedstock development; systemic energy supply chain interdependencies; operational resilience; infrastructure optimization; and aircraft efficiency enhancement.

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