EPA Awards $1 Million to Colleges for Environmental Solutions

May 2, 2012

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on April 25 that it has awarded more than $1 million in grants to 15 university and college teams. The awards went to teams from across the country that participated in the eighth Annual National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for their innovative environmental solutions. EPA's People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) award competition was held at the expo and featured more than 300 college innovators showcasing their sustainable projects designed to protect the environment, encourage economic growth, and use natural resources more efficiently.

The P3 team projects include a new process that uses spinach to capture and convert the sun's energy to electricity, as well as a partnership with a local landfill to design a process that uses waste heat and drainage to grow algae for biodiesel production. Following an initial peer review process, this year's winners were selected from 45 competing teams after two days of judging by a panel of national experts convened to provide recommendations to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Each P3 award-winning team will receive a grant of up to $90,000 to further develop its design, apply it to real-world applications or move it to the marketplace. Previous P3 award winners have started successful businesses, and they are marketing technologies in the United States and around the world. See the EPA press release and the list of P3 award winners.