CORFO Selects AUI to Build and Manage the Chilean Instituto de Tecnologías Limpias

CORFO Council Selects AUI to Create Clean Tech Institute

AUI to Create and Operate Instituto de Tecnologías Limpias (ICTL)

Santiago, Chile—On January 4th, the Corporación de Fomento de la Producción de Chile (CORFO) Council met to award the Chilean Instituto de Tecnologías Limpias (ICTL) construction, management, and operations to AUI. The ICTL will create jobs in Macrozona Norte, bring in additional investments, provide Chilean entrepreneurs the opportunity to build new businesses, refine and develop resources locally to develop clean energy and products to fuel a new and more robust economy, and enable Chilean universities to share resources in a fair and open manner throughout the country. AUI proposes building extensive new infrastructure in Antofagasta Region, bringing additional investment funds into Chile to support this project, and allowing access to the greatest number of interested parties.

A key feature of AUI’s proposal is the construction of new facilities in Macrozona Norte, providing shovel-ready jobs in the region. Two of the largest facilities will include a new Battery Lab and Testing Facility, which will be crucial for Chile to maximize the economic value of its lithium, and a Multi-purpose High-Bay Facility. Further, such infrastructure will be used for battery cell testing and pilot manufacturing to include complete battery cell assembly, materials scale up, and pilot manufacturing facilities; prototyping and scale-up facility; and the establishment of pilot facilities at commercial operating sites for solar energy and sustainable mining. The production of green hydrogen will require new infrastructure as well. These cutting-edge structures will become especially valuable for a diverse community of Chilean stakeholders through AUI’s open access policies.

AUI is renowned globally for developing a system of participation that enables fair and equitable use of scientific facilities amongst the largest, most inclusive group of governmental, academic, and industrial users. CORFO’s decision to select AUI will enable the benefits of research to reach all Chileans. AUI was central in the design and development of the ALMA Observatory, close to San Pedro de Atacama. Today AUI continues to manage the North American portion of the consortium, which allows for the greatest openness in access to the facilities.

AUI is an independent, non-member, non-profit that specializes in managing scientific and technical research, and was founded 75 years ago by elite universities who realized they could achieve more if they worked openly and harmoniously. “Working with many universities and industry seamlessly is what makes AUI unique,” said ICTL Project Manager, Ricardo Raineri. “Our open access approach is a tremendous win for all Chilean universities and entrepreneurs because no one is left out and all are allowed in based on the merit of their proposals.”

AUI’s independence as a private institution is key in facilitating the optimal use of facilities and will be instrumental in working with Chile’s university system. AUI will establish a foundation in Macrozona Norte to construct and operate the ICTL. Universidad de Atacama, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Universidad San Sebastián and Universidad del Desarrollo are involved and the foundation will have a university representative as part of its Board of Directors. “AUI’s independence has allowed many impressive collaborations,” said AUI President Adam Cohen. “Chile became the ‘center of the astronomy universe’ through the construction of its ALMA Observatory and we are proud to have helped in Chilean excellence. We look forward to continue working in Chile, and conducting workshops throughout Macrozona Norte to ensure the maximum benefit of all of Chile through the development and operation of the ICTL.”

AUI looks forward to working with the Chilean Government, universities, industry and entrepreneurs to plan and build the infrastructure for discovery in the Antofagasta Region for the benefit of Chile. AUI’s ICTL associates currently include but are not limited to: Asexma Chile A.G., Ballard Power Systems Inc., CSP Cerro Dominador, Clayton Ventures, Colbun S.A., Colorado School of Mines, Ecometales Limited, Enaex Chile S.A., Enel Generación Chile S.A., Engie Latam S.A., Enorchile S.A., Freitag & Co, Generadora Metropolitana, Low Emissions Resources Corp, NanoOne, Schwager Energy S.A, The Wilson Center, Universidad de Atacama, Universidad Autónoma de Chile, Universidad del Desarrollo, Universidad San Sebastián, and University of Utah.

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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