What if you and your neighbors could work with University of Virginia experts to solve the climate-related problems in your town? What if clean energy solutions created in UVA labs turned into technologies to be shared with the world?
Developing cutting-edge research and putting it into action is motivating the University’s $60 million investment in a collaborative approach to climate change.
Through UVA’s ambitious Grand Challenge Research Initiatives, UVA researchers will pursue two avenues focused on environmental resilience and sustainability: researching and perfecting clean energy, and helping local communities develop best practices for responding to climate-driven challenges.
“These research teams are planning an exciting two-pronged approach,” Vice President for Research Melur K. “Ram” Ramasubramanian said. “On the one hand, we are focused on empowering local decision-makers with knowledge and resources. On the other, we are developing advanced clean-energy technologies by leveraging our scientific expertise in engineering and chemistry. We are investing in additional faculty to further strengthen teams and in state-of-the-art analytical and computational tools to make significant advances.”
Ramasubramanian, Provost Ian Baucom and Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives Megan Barnett are spearheading the Grand Challenges, which are part of the University’s 2030 “Great and Good” Plan, a set of strategic initiatives focused on service through collaboration.
“The Grand Challenges are part of our commitment to invest in research that will address some of the most challenging contemporary issues of our time,” UVA President Jim Ryan said. “As described in our 2030 Strategic Plan, we will engage scholars, researchers and practitioners from across the University, each of whom will bring new perspectives to the work, and we will make sure the results are widely distributed for maximum impact. I’m grateful to all those at UVA whose work will make the world a better place.”
Led by the UVA Environmental Resilience Institute, the community-based effort will include faculty from schools across the University in a newly formed Climate Collaborative. The group aspires to connect University researchers with policymakers, local officials and business leaders, as well as everyday citizens.