CORFO Awards Institute of Clean Technologies to a Consortium Led by AUI

The following is press coverage on the Clean Technologies Institute Award given by CORFO, translated by Google.

Located in the Antofagasta Region, it seeks to promote local and national development. It will be the largest investment in Research and Development in Latin America in this matter and a technological reference worldwide.

The Corfo Council today awarded the Clean Technologies Institute (ICTL), the largest Research and Development (R&D) center and which will be located in the Antofagasta Region, to a consortium led by AUI (Associated Universities Inc), an independent organization and non-profit organization that has among its founding members prestigious American universities, such as Harvard University, MIT, Columbia, Princeton, Cornell, Pennsylvania, Princeton, John Hopkins, Rochester and Yale.
 
The initiative seeks to promote regional and national development, and aims to promote solar energy, sustainable mining and advanced materials of lithium and other minerals, and green hydrogen. It is expected that by 2030 it will be a technological reference worldwide in its areas of specialization, and a center for innovation and entrepreneurship with a global scope, which will capture value for the regional and national economy by taking advantage of the unique conditions of the Atacama Desert.
 
“With this Institute, we will turn the Antofagasta Region and Chile into a true laboratory for testing cutting-edge technologies for sustainable energy and mining projects. AUI gives confidence regarding the domain of these technologies that we want to attract and implement in our country. Sustainable reactivation is very important for the Government, for this we must advance in our main industries applying R&D in their projects, promoting investment and local development and the generation of quality jobs “, says Pablo Terrazas, Executive Vice President of Corfo .
 
And he adds: “Our local universities and institutes will have the possibility to enhance their research with AUI, which has the capacity to bring together leading universities in the United States and other parts of the world, and significantly expand opportunities for development and innovation in Chile in matters that are key to advancing towards the future we want ”.
 
The initiative seeks that the contribution of this Institute is long-term for the country and that its development is sustainable over time. For this reason, in the next 10 years it considers a total investment of US $ 265 million, where the contribution from SQM contracts will be 54%, while that of AUI will be 46%. These contributions also include those of companies such as Colbún, Enel, AES Gener, Enaex, among others. After that period, the total cost of the ICTL will be borne by the institute itself.
 
This consortium, in its commitment to contribute to local and national development, considers the participation in its directory of Universities of the North Macrozone and 3 representatives of the private sector.
 
AUI is 74 years old and its research has generated four Nobel Prizes. It has a solid presence in Chile and the region, and led the construction and today manages the operations of the Alma Observatory on behalf of North America, together with astronomical research institutions from Europe and East Asia, where together they have invested US $ 1,400 millions.

 

NRAO Director Tony Beasley Appointed to New Five-Year Term

 

Dr. Tony Beasley, Director of the National Science Foundation’s National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), has been appointed to a new five-year term. The Board of Trustees for AUI— which operates NRAO under a cooperative agreement— and the NRAO Director Review Committee conducted a thorough review of Beasley’s leadership and performance earlier this year, and have appointed the Director to the new term through May 2027.

 

“Tony is an outstanding leader and stalwart champion for NRAO, the field of radio astronomy, the beauty of science, and the critical role of big facilities in the R&D ecosystem,” said Adam Cohen, President and CEO of AUI, which operates NRAO under a cooperative agreement. “He continues to support very innovative education and outreach programs to help build the workforce of the future, as well as programs and activities to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplaces.” 

 

Over the course of more than two decades, Beasley’s leadership has shaped the present and future of NRAO’s leading-edge radio astronomy facilities, including the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA), and Very Large Array (VLA). More recently, he has collaborated on efforts to encourage cooperation between commercial spectrum users and research facilities and has created partnerships to explore the use of Green Bank Observatory’s radar systems in planetary science and defense applications. 

 

Beasley recently has generated significant support for the future of NRAO’s facilities, reaching major milestones in 2021. The observatory’s proposed next generation Very Large Array (ngVLA) received high priority for new ground-based observatories in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey (Astro2020). Late last year, NRAO’s Central Development Laboratory (CDL) received approval and funding through the ambitious ALMA2030 Development Plan to upgrade its Band 6 receivers, which are ALMA’s most productive receivers. 

 

An ardent supporter of diversity, equity, and inclusion in astronomy and astrophysics, Beasley has elevated the efforts of NRAO’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Broader Impacts, and community development initiatives, including the National Astronomy Consortium (NAC), RADIAL, National and International Non-traditional Exchange (NINE), Research Experiences for Undergraduate students (REU), and most recently, grants for women in engineering fellowships and the development of a next generation Learning Center (ngLC). 

 

“Being a part of NRAO for more than 20 years has given me the opportunity to observe, contribute to, and lead growth and change in astronomy that positively impacts our facilities and allows us to collaborate with other like-minded institutions,” said Beasley. “I am proud of the work our teams have accomplished in research, engineering, outreach, and equity, and look forward to serving the NRAO community for another five years.”

 

Beasley, who holds a Doctorate in Astrophysics from the University of Sydney, was first appointed as NRAO Director in February 2012, after previously serving the observatory and the radio astronomy community in multiple capacities. He joined NRAO as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 1991 and served as Deputy Assistant Director in 1997 and Assistant Director from 1998 to 2000. He briefly left NRAO that year to become Project Manager for the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA). In 2004, he returned to NRAO as Assistant Director, as well as Project Manager for the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile. From 2008 to 2012, Beasley served as the Chief Operating Officer and Project Manager of NSF’s National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON). In addition to his role as NRAO Director, Beasley presently serves as the AUI Vice President for Radio Astronomy Operations. 

 

In January 2022, Beasley was honored as a Lifetime Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in recognition of his significant contributions to the field of radio astronomy. 

 

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