FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. (Army News Service, Oct. 29, 2009) -- Scientists, engineers and professors from the United States and India recently met to find ways to solve the critical power and energy challenges faced by both nations.

The three-day U.S.-India Bilateral Power and Energy Workshop, Sept. 29 - Oct. 1, provided a forum to identify collaborative research and development opportunities regarding power sources, power storage, co-generation, and power management equipment and systems.

As demand for power and energy continues to increase, both countries are seeking to enhance their power and energy capabilities and are, in some cases, investigating different solutions to similar challenges, said Dr. Gerardo Melendez, the director of the Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineer Center's Command and Control Directorate.

"Both countries possess the technical wherewithal and have allocated resources to research and develop power and energy capabilities," Melendez said. "So we have a convergence of factors that point toward a successful bilateral collaboration."

During the workshop, attendees participated in an overview of U.S. and India power and energy imperatives, panel discussions, and technical and poster sessions on fuel cells, alternate energy sources and energy technology initiatives.

Workshop participants identified fuel-cell technology, collaborative testing of Soldier power systems, hybrid supercapacitors and portable solar photovoltaics as potential areas for future collaboration and project agreements.

Project leads and organizational points of contact were chosen to further develop these technical areas and identify mutual project objectives and goals. Research and development efforts will be identified within the next two months through white paper submissions from both countries on possible project agreements. The selected papers will be briefed at the next meeting.

U.S. Army CERDEC organized the workshop. The next such workshop is scheduled to be held in New Delhi, India, Jan. 27-29.

The active dialogue and inter-personnel relationships that resulted from the most recent workshop will hopefully lead to faster, efficient, cost-effective solutions, said Keith Webster, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for defense cooperation.

"This workshop was very successful, perhaps even beyond our expectations," Webster said. "We're optimistic that this encouraging start will lead to an expanded, mutually beneficial relationship."

(Edric Thompson writes for CERDEC Public Affairs)