Close to 20% of the world’s population does not have access to electricity; in sub-Saharan Africa, the number reaches 85% in rural areas. In 2012 (declared as the Year of Sustainable Energy for All by the United Nations General Assembly), the UN reaffirmed its commitment to increasing access to sustainable energy by declaring 2014-2024 the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All. Implementing the infrastructure for universal access to sustainable energy is a critical scientific, technological and social challenge, which will require significant capacity building within developing countries.

This symposium aims to bring together leading scientists developing and developed countries to address the energy challenge, using the recently launched UNESCO Chair MATECSS (Materials and Technologies for Energy Conversion, Saving and Storage) as platform.

The aim of MATECSS is to develop North-South collaborations that focus on capacity building, student and professor exchanges to develop together renewable energy technologies of the future, as well as to build strong links with local and global industries in the area. Based at INRS in Canada, MATECSS has confirmed partners in Algeria, China, Costa Rica, India, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa and Vietnam, bringing together scientists different backgrounds so as to foster a collaborative atmosphere and multidisciplinary picture in addressing the energy challenge.

Symposium Topics

  • New materials for solar fuels and water splitting
  • Enhancing performance of photovoltaic devices through plasmonic effects
  • New infrastructure materials for buildings, to address Energy Saving
  • Thermoelectric materials and their coupling to solar power
  • New energy saving strategies, based on computer models and other approaches

Invited Speakers

Luis Godinez Mora-Tovar, CIDETEQ, México; Walter Merida, UBC, Canada; Carlos Gómez-Yáñez, National Polytechnic Institute, México; Joseph Sebastian P., IER-UNAM, Mexico; Carlos Guerrero, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia; Victor Castano, UNAM, México; Clara Santato, Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal, Canada; David Kisailus, UC Riverside, USA; Xiao Wei Sun, SUSTC Shenzhen, P.R. China; Shuhui Sun, INRS, Canada; Nava Setter, EPFL, Switzerland; Bodh Rajh Mehta, IIT Delhi, India; Malik Maaza, University of South Africa, South Africa; Zhiming Wang, UESTC Chengdu, P. R. China; Christine Luscombe, University of Washington, USA; Sossina Haile, Northwestern University, USA; Oliver Probst, ITESM, México; Sergio Gamboa, IER-UNAM, México; Mary Anne White, Dalhousie University, Canada; Volkan Demir, Bilkent University, Turkey; Fiorenzo Vetrone, INRS, Italy; Isabella Concina, University of Brescia, Italy; Jillian Buriak, University of Alberta, Canada; Horacio Corti, CNEA, Argentina; Oumarou Savadogo, Polytechnique Montreal, Canada; Giovanni Fanchini, Western University, Canada; Nian Sun, Northeastern University, USA; Ivan K. Schuller, University of California-San Diego, USA; E. Dan Dahlberg, University of Minnesota, USA