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EPA Awards Three Universities in North Carolina with Grants to Help Design Sustainable Technologies

Release Date: 10/16/2014
Contact Information: Danielle Jackson, (404) 562-9182 (Direct), (404) 562- 8400 (Main), Jackson.Danielle@epa.gov

Atlanta - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded three universities in North Carolina with the People, Prosperity, and Planet (P3) award for the 2014-2015 school year. Nationally the grants were awarded to 42 teams of college and university students. The teams will design innovative solutions to sustainable challenges in the developed and developing world.

Former P3 teams have used their winning ideas to form small businesses and non-profit organizations. Environmental Fuel Research, a 2008 P3 winner from Drexel University, incorporated their grease waste-trap biofuel technology into a business enterprise and won a $100,000 EPA Small Business Innovation Research Phase I award this year. This woman-owned startup, headquartered in a historically underutilized business (HUB) zone to encourage economic development, has the potential to revolutionize domestic biodiesel capacity in the United States.

The 2014-2015 school year awardees include:

Appalachian State University, Boone, N.C. - Developing biomass greenhouse- heating systems to extend growing seasons for resource- limited farmers.
University of North Carolina, Charlotte, N.C. - Integrating next generation nanoscale solar skin in order to reduce the solar heat gain and glare while producing electricity.
North Carolina A&T University, Greensboro, N.C - Reducing runoff from roofs and providing biological diversity in urban areas

Since 2004, the P3 Program has provided funding to student teams in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, committing over $10 million to cutting-edge, sustainable projects designed by university students. Projects from this year’s teams include a new device for generating electricity from sunlight that could be used on exterior walls of buildings; extending the growing season for farmers by heating greenhouses with biomass; and reducing diesel emissions for vehicles while lowering costs and improving fuel economy.

Funding for the P3 projects is divided into two phases. In the first phase, student teams submit a proposal for a project, and if they are selected, they compete with other Phase I winners at the National Sustainable Design Expo in Washington, D.C. At the Expo, teams compete for Phase II funding of up to $75,000. This is the 11th year for the EPA P3 Program.

More information on the 2014 P3 Phase I Projects: http://epa.gov/ncer/2014P3grantees

For more information on the P3 Program: www.epa.gov/ncer/p3/

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And on Twitter: @EPASoutheast