PVAMU, Shell to launch $6M partnership
President of PVAMU Ruth Simmons (left) and President, Shell Oil Company Gretchen Watkins.

Prairie View A&M University and Shell Global University are collaborating to launch a research project focused on innovation and agriculture in a multi-million dollar, five-year agreement.

The PVAMU-Shell Nature Based Solutions (NBS) Research Program furthers the company’s investment in diversity and inclusion by supporting industry research at a leading historically Black college/university. The funds will be used to develop infrastructure projected on the campus’ nearly 700-acre farm and create a career pipeline cultivating the next generation of scientists with Shell.

“There is a great challenge on climate issues and how much fossil fuel we burn, so Shell is invested in working with an institution in the agricultural area that will have a long-standing global impact on climate change, said Dr. Magesh Rajan, vice president for Research and Innovation at PVAMU. “This is the first partnership since the institution elevated into a new Carnegie Classification, and we are very proud.”

According to Shell, their natural-based solutions projects protect, transform or restore land. Additional benefits include “offering alternative sources of income to local communities, improving soil productivity, cleaning air and water, and maintaining biodiversity.”

PVAMU is among the list of land-grant universities that continues to provide essential research, public outreach that improves the quality of life and service to underserved communities. The program will not only provide students with hands-on experience, but make them more marketable and prepared for the workforce.

“Real-world experience is a key benefit for students working on the Shell-Prairie View A&M University Research Program,” said Allison Falender, general manager of biotechnology at Shell.

“With only a short 45-minute drive between Shell Technology Center Houston and [PVAMU], frequent collaboration among Shell scientists and Prairie View A&M students will be easy. Participants in the nature-based solutions program will be able to directly tap Shell’s technical expertise, further developing their skills as the next generation of sought-after scientists.”

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...