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Scientists Receive Additional Funding For Innovative Projects In Solar Energy Research

December 09, 2010

Funding Comes from Research Corporation for Science Advancement for Projects Borne Out of Its First Scialog®Conference

Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA has presented Scialog® Collaborative Innovation Awards of $100,000 to each of three groups of scientists to supplement the initial grant awards under RCSA's groundbreaking Scialog research initiative.

The three groups include scientists who were each awarded initial grants of $100,000 in the first round, now underway, of Scialog - a multi-year grant program designed to accelerate the work of 21st-century science. Scialog - which stands for "science dialogue" - funds early career scientists to pursue transformative research, in dialog with their fellow grantees, on crucial issues of scientific inquiry. The first round is focused on solar energy conversion.

In October, the original 13 Scialog award-winners met for three days at Biosphere 2 in Oracle, AZ, where they came together with a select group of other eminent scientists - to discuss the potential for transformative change in solar energy conversion. While attending the first annual Scialog Conference, co-sponsored by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the award-winners were encouraged to form teams with other scientists present, in order to create new research projects that could be supported with Scialog Collaborative Innovation Awards from RCSA. To be eligible for such an Award, each team had to include at least one original Scialog award-winner, the research idea had to be innovative, and it had to emerge during the Scialog Conference. Proposals were reviewed by a panel of prestigious scientists - chaired by Nate Lewis, the renowned Caltech chemistry professor and Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's $120-million Energy Innovation Hub. Scialog Collaborative Innovation Awards have now been presented to the following teams:

  • Joan Redwing, Professor of Electrical Engineering at Penn State University and an original Scialog awardee, Rene Lopez, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a U.S. National Science Foundation SOLAR awardee, and Kathleen Melde, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Arizona and a Science Foundation Arizona awardee, will research the bio-inspired electro-optic structure for silicon photovoltaics.
  • Three original Scialog awardees - Stefan Lutz, Associate Professor of Biomolecular Chemistry at Emory University; Sean Elliott, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Boston University, and David Cliffel, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University - will research high spatial resolution electrochemistry of biological inspired systems.
  • Two original Scialog awardees - Raymond Schaak, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Penn State University, and Alan Heyduk, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of California-Irvine - and John Gilbertson, Assistant Professor of Inorganic Chemistry at Western Washington University and a U.S. National Science Foundation SOLAR awardee, will research artificial nanoscale enzymes for carbon dioxide reduction catalysis.

"Future U.S. scientific innovation depends in part on our nation's capacity to build communities of scientists around potentially transformative research ideas," said RCSA President James M. Gentile. "That's what Scialog is designed to do, and these Scialog Collaborative Innovation Awards provide crucial support to help turn high-risk high-reward concepts into the next great breakthrough."

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