Bell Labs and AMBER to Collaborate on Energy Harvesting Research

June 08, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

AMBER (Advanced Materials and BioEngineering Research), the Science Foundation Ireland-funded materials science institute headquartered at Trinity College Dublin announced a new strategic partnership with Bell Labs, the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent. AMBER which is funded by the Department of Jobs through Science Foundation Ireland, and Bell Labs will embark on joint energy research projects in the fields of energy harvesting, energy efficiency and energy storage.

The two organizations will seek ways to make data networks in communications and ICT more energy efficient in the face of exponential growth in traffic. This collaboration creates a mutually beneficial research partnership where Bell Labs provides scientific and industry expertise around thermal science and energy efficiency and AMBER provides deep fundamental materials science expertise and world leading characterization facilities.

Welcoming the partnership, Seán Sherlock T.D, Minister for Research and Innovation said, “This is a great example of what we are trying to achieve through our Action Plan for Jobs. Here is a Government-funded research center collaborating with a dynamic company to find solutions to problems that they face in their business. This is how we turn the good ideas we have developed through State-funded research into good jobs. I congratulate AMBER and Bell Labs on this achievement and wish them every success for the future”.

Professor Stefano Sanvito, AMBER said “At AMBER, we are carrying out advanced energy research in areas such as thermoelectric and energy storage applications. This has the potential to significantly improve manufacturing and product-development for companies such as Alcatel Lucent Bell Labs and we are delighted announce this research partnership today.”

Alcatel-Lucent has hired four very experienced scientists working as Researchers-in-Residence at AMBER to accelerate impact from the collaboration. The researchers from Bell Labs and AMBER are working closely across a range of topics that are critical to enable future energy-efficient telecommunications products.

Speaking at the event, Marcus Weldon, President of Bell Labs and CTO of Alcatel-Lucent said, “The Irish government has encouraged the development of a highly effective ecosystem in the country which embraces academia, industry and business; Bell Labs is both a beneficiary and a contributor. I am following the AMBER collaboration with great interest as I am convinced that the program, and in particular the quality of the researchers working on it, will give rise to exciting results.”

Dr. Weldon also announced that it is encouraging members of the Irish research community to submit proposals for the recently launched Bell Labs Prize. The competition will give any researcher, in participating countries around the globe, the possibility of winning a cash award worth as much as USD $100,000 and the chance to further develop their ideas at Bell Labs, where possible.

Marcus Weldon said “It will be fascinating to see the ideas that come to light through this process and I have very high hopes for Ireland given its vibrant and diverse research community.”

Commenting on the announcement, Professor Mark Ferguson, Director General Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Chief Scientific Adviser to the Government of Ireland added, “I welcome this collaboration between Bell Labs and AMBER. The SFI Research Centers, like AMBER, focus on delivering cutting edge, internationally excellent research that is of value to Industry and the Irish Economy. I am also pleased that Bell Labs has instituted this new prize. Prize funding is an interesting mechanism to stimulate and engage a diverse range of researchers worldwide to solve major problems and challenges of importance to industry and society. I urge researchers from Ireland to compete and win.”