Students Target Sustainability
Twenty-three projects aimed at helping humans live more sustainably - including a new MBA fellowship - have been granted a total of $2 million through a new program funded by the Dow Chemical Co. Foundation.
The Sustainable Products and Solutions (SPS) Program received overwhelming interest from UC Berkeley master's and doctoral students, who submitted projects that cumulatively sought three times the available funds.
Based at the Haas School's Center for Responsible Business, the SPS program was created in partnership with the College of Chemistry. The SPS program was created to administer and grow a $10 million, five-year gift from the foundation to provide students and faculty with educational and research opportunities focused on sustainability.
One funded project will create a new fellowship for MBA students to help members from the other winning teams develop viable business plans to bring their products to market. A new course will be structured around the fellowship program next spring. Haas Associate Professor Catherine Wolfram and Adjunct Professor Andrew Isaacs, co-executive directors of the Center for Energy and Environmental Innovation, will teach the course.
"This program gives us the opportunity to fund seminars, student competitions, research, internships, field projects, and fellowships that will help graduate students bridge research, theory, and practice in sustainability," says Kellie McElhaney, executive director of the Center for Responsible Business and program director for SPS.
Other winning projects include cost-effective water purification and hygiene technologies, renewable fuels, and new courses on sustainability. Three projects focus on distributing efficient cook stoves in China, Senegal, and Darfur. The stoves, developed at Berkeley, offer environmental benefits and save lives by decreasing the time women and children spend gathering wood in dangerous areas.