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Regional Climate Solutions Research Funding

Outline map of the United States with Nevada, Utah, and Arizona outlined in red for emphasis. Text "Southwest Sustainability Innovation Engine" is circled in red to highlight. Other Text: NSF Engines. Energy, Advanced Materials, Disaster Prevention, Water. North Carolina Textile Innovation & Sustainability Engine, Great Lakes Water Innovation Engine, Louisiana Energy Transition Engine, Upstate New York Energy Storage Engine, Colorado-Wyoming Climate Resiliance Engine

Sixteen GCSC faculty affiliates are part of the Utah team that will develop research and technology hubs to address water security and other effects of climate change in the arid Southwest.

NSF Engines: Southwest Sustainability Innovation Engine (SWSIE) will seek to establish the Southwest as a leader in carbon capture, water security and renewable energy and bring high-wage industries to the region. Southwest Sustainability Innovation Engine unites academic, community, nonprofit and industry partners across Arizona, Nevada and Utah that are committed to this goal. 

SWSIE is among the first proposals selected by the NSF to establish a Regional Innovation Engine, a first-of-its-kind NSF program to create focused research and technology transfer hubs. The NSF will fund SWSIE’s initial development and growth with $15 million over the next two years. The engine can be renewed for up to 10 years with $160 million in funding available for each Regional Engine.

The team includes over 20 senior personnel including faculty from Atmospheric Sciences, Biological Sciences, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Communications, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Geography, and Geology and Geophysics.  

The U of U’s core academic partners in SWSIE are Arizona State University, who serve as the lead partner of the project, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Desert Research Institute, the Water Research Foundation, SciTech Institute and Maricopa Community Colleges

The work in Utah will align University of Utah use-inspired research with regional priorities in partnership with neighborhoods, nonprofits, municipalities and utilities, private industry and startups. SWSIE will be on advancing technology and policy innovation at water-energy nexus spanning the Great Salt Lake Watershed to the Colorado River basin. 

“We are so thrilled to have the opportunity to grow academic, industry, and community partnerships that unite Utah, Nevada, and Arizona as we innovate sustainable solutions for water, energy, and carbon.” said Dr. Brenda Bowen, Co-PI on the SWSIE project and serves as the University of Utah lead. “This is work that needs to happen, and this award will allow us to align our efforts to maximize the positive impacts across the region.” 

Excerpted from AtTheU. Read the full article here.

Read the announcements from the NSF and from the White House.