SOURCE: University of Calgary

University of Calgary

June 09, 2016 14:05 ET

First "Call for Proposals" for Mexico's Energy Ministry with the University of Calgary

Government, academia and industry commit to training the next generation of energy experts

CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - June 09, 2016) - The Mexican Ministry of Energy (SENER) announced the first "Call for Proposals" exclusively with the University of Calgary with a funding commitment from the hydrocarbon fund to support research that will aid energy reforms in Mexico.

Mexican Secretary of Energy, Pedro Joaquín Coldwell announced an investment of 150 Million Pesos (equivalent to $10.5 million) towards research and called for proposals on Tuesday. The announcement was made at a reception held at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary attended by government officials from Mexico and Alberta, university representatives, and members of the energy industry.

The university and the Mexican Ministry signed a long-term partnership in December of 2015 that helps Mexico boost its energy sector and share knowledge. The agreement is part of the university's Global Research Initiative in Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources (GRI). The GRI is a major vehicle to translate lab-based technology innovations into practical industry solutions. Focused on collaborative research between the world-class innovators from the University of Calgary and international partners, the GRI creates a network of global hubs for discovery, creativity and innovation in unconventional energy research. Mexico is the second global site after Beijing.

"The main goal that drives Mexico energy reform is generating better employment opportunities in the country," said Coldwell. The country will need more than 135,000 experts in the near future to grow its energy sector.

"We are developing national and international networks. Today we launch a call for proposals for research and technological development projects and development and deployment of training of capacity building programs," Coldwell said.

"The contribution of the University of Calgary will be instrumental in our efforts for research and talent development for the energy sector," said Coldwell.

The call for proposals focuses on four key areas of development: heavy oil, mature and unconventional resources, pipeline loss reduction, and talent development.

"The government, the private sector and academia are committed to training the next generation of Mexican energy experts. It's essential to promote close collaboration between schools and international research centres," said Coldwell.

The research proposals will be developed at the University of Calgary Global Research Site located at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City.

"It's really a pleasure to be a member at this very moment of active interaction between Canada and Mexico," said Dr. Francisco Trigo Tavera, International Relations Co-ordinator of UNAM.

"It's an opportunity for the two countries to work together, and publish papers that lead to the next generation of new research. I think this project can only lead to success," he said.

"One of our research strengths at the University of Calgary is energy related research," University of Calgary Provost Dru Marshall said. "We have more than 270 faculty members engaged in this area, who train more than 550 graduate students and 40 postdoctoral fellows, as well as select undergraduate students. As the seventh largest oil producer in the world, Mexico shares our interests in world-class energy innovation."

Alberta Minister of Energy, Honorable Margaret McCuaig-Boyd, also attended the event.

"I see a lot of ways that Alberta and Mexico can work together. We are seeing benefits of doing more direct business with each other," said McCuaig-Boyd. "The effects of this kind of collaboration can be widespread. The University of Calgary is helping to lead in an area of global importance," she added.

The Mexican Academy of Engineering is a key educational partner for the initiative. The reception followed a collaboration agreement signed earlier in the day between the Academy and the university regarding industry development and a talent observatory group focused on accelerating human resource expertise and improving product development in the energy sector.

"Our partnership with Mexico really advances our research strategy and our international strategy," said Janaka Ruwanpura, vice-provost (International). "It's great for Canada, it's great for Alberta and it's great for Mexico."

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is making tremendous progress on its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.'

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