In partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Arizona State University will help bring sustained electrical power to Pakistan through groundbreaking energy and research solution hubs. The U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies in Energy has been made possible through an $18 million USAID grant – part of a larger $127 million project to support Pakistan’s economic development by strengthening universities. The program will involve Arizona State University working in collaboration with the National University of Sciences and Technology in Islamabad (NUST), and the University of Engineering and Technology in Peshawar (UET).
On August 27, 2015, officials gathered on ASU’s Tempe campus to mark the initiative and discuss how the new partnership will help mitigate issues around Pakistan’s energy needs where more than 70 percent of the population does not currently receive steady electricity.
"This new partnership presents a tremendous opportunity to help solve Pakistan's deepening energy challenges and identify new ways to develop more reliable power production," said Senator McCain, in his opening remarks. "I commend the leaders of Arizona State University and its partner institutions for launching this innovative initiative, through which students and researchers in both countries will work together to tackle the issue of sustainable energy, a vital concern for both our countries in the 21st century."
Donald “Larry” Sampler, the Assistant to the Administrator for the Office of Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs at USAID, spoke at the launch of the five-year energy program alongside the presidents of NUST, UET, and ASU’s Senior Vice President for Knowledge Enterprise Development. Together, the three university partners will develop the centers which focus on applied research relevant to Pakistan’s energy needs and educating the next generation of energy scientists, engineers, and policy makers.
“The United States and Pakistan enjoy a long and fruitful partnership that spans over six decades,” Sampler said. “This program is yet another expression of the U.S. government’s long-term commitment to building a stronger, more prosperous Pakistan. Under this new initiative, the centers at both NUST and UET Peshawar will become premier sustainable energy think tanks that will harness practical solutions for Pakistan’s current and future energy needs.”
About 1,200 people died in Karachi this summer because of lack of power for air-conditioning and water pumps, according to a U.S. government official at the event. By partnering with USAID, ASU places subject matter experts and cutting-edge knowledge on the front line of research and innovation internationally. To date, ASU and USAID have successfully collaborated on more than $40 million in USAID grant awarded projects, with more than 30 projects in progress today.
“This partnership exemplifies ASU’s commitment to access, excellence and impact around the globe,” said Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, Senior Vice President for Knowledge Enterprise Development at ASU. “We are excited to collaborate with NUST and UET on this USAID project and look forward to sharing our energy research leadership and learning from the global experiences as we build these world-class centers. This project will open up new educational opportunities for students and faculty and address the critical need for sustainable energy projects that will help promote global security, stability and opportunity.”