Students from the University of California Riverside awarded nearly $30,000 in EPA grants for innovative technology projects

 
05/15/2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced nearly $30,000 in funding for two teams of students from University of California Riverside through its People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) grants program. The teams are receiving funding to develop sustainable technologies to help solve environmental and public health challenges.

“EPA’s P3 grants program supports the next generation of scientists and engineers,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These students are able to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to real-world environmental problems that require innovative solutions.”

“We’re pleased to help advance the work of these UC Riverside students,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker.  “This exciting EPA program encourages students to apply their knowledge to create environmental solutions that move us toward a sustainable future.”

Grantees include:

  • University of California – Riverside, Calif.: A student team from the University of California Riverside will develop a simple and inexpensive technology to reduce the levels of indoor and outdoor air pollutants generated by wood-stoves in disadvantaged communities.
  • University of California – Riverside, Calif.: A student team from the University of California Riverside will study hemp fiber properties and ultimately produce hempcrete as a lighter, stronger, and more environmentally friendly alternative to conventional fossil-based concrete.

The P3 competition challenges students to research, develop and design innovative projects that address a myriad of environmental protection and public health issues. The Phase I teams will receive grants of up to $15,000 each to fund the proof of concept for their projects.

The Phase I recipients will attend the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo in Boston, Mass., on June 17-18, 2019, to showcase their research. They can then apply for a Phase II grant that provides funding up to $100,000 to further the project design.

These students, who represent the future workforce in diverse scientific and engineering fields, are following in the footsteps of other P3 teams. Some of these teams have gone on to start businesses based on ideas and products developed through their P3 project. In 2018, a previous P3 Phase I awardee from Oklahoma State University (OSU) leveraged P3 funding to initiate their research to develop a cost-effective approach to enhance energy efficiency in wastewater treatment. In furthering their P3 project, OSU transformed the research into a business plan and won the Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition with its startup business plan for Contraire, a predictive analysis control system designed to provide near real-time wastewater test measurements. Amongst 15 other teams, OSU pitched their business plan to a panel of Canadian business leaders and received multiple inquiries from investors.

To learn more about the P3 projects, visit: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipients.display/rfa_id/639/records_per_page/ALL

For more information on the P3 Program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/P3



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