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With Launch of Clean Energy Center, OU Set to Become Hub for Alternative Fuel Development

Initiative from a division of the OU INCubator was set to be unveiled today at Oakland University.

Inside a 20,000-square-foot pavillion on the edge of the campus, a laboratory is coming to life.

Those who helped build it are calling it an "Edison's Lab," and its mission is poised to put the university and its surrounding cities at the forefront of clean energy research and development.

Thursday morning, in front of a crowd of leaders in business, government and education, the university is to unveil its Clean Energy Research Center, a division of the OU INCubator, a center that supports science- and technology-based businesses.

The center will allow students and teachers to work on clean energy development in advanced lighting, combined heat and power, solar, biomass, wind and geothermal systems.

It will also allow the university to build partnerships with local businesses working on clean energy initiatives.

"At the state, national and local level, clean and alternative energy growth and development is critical to our region's evolutionary transition," said David Spencer, OU INCubator director. "If we're not able to take advantage of new innovations and new intellectual property in clean and alternative energy, we'll miss our window of opportunity this time."

A centerpiece of the morning launch will be a display of equipment that shows how switchgrass is converted into alternative fuel; a giant pellet mill would compress it and a boiler engine would heat it. Those contraptions are set up for viewing.

About 300 people, along with 30 exhibitors, are expected to attend the launch.

tom hagen March 31, 2011 at 10:46 AM
I'd like to attend this event. Is it open to the public?
Bryan Barnett March 31, 2011 at 07:11 PM
This is an exciting new opportunity for our community. With so many clean energy companies already working on cutting edge technology here in Rochester Hills, the Clean Energy Research Center will be a incredible resource and benefit to our area.
Janice Rex-Weaver March 31, 2011 at 08:49 PM
This was an exciting event for me to attend as a resident of Rochester and also member of the www.migreenteam.com & Green Living Festival - proud to say OU is in my hometown!

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