Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) August 27, 2013
The Ray C. Anderson Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded grants in the first two quarters of 2013 totaling more than $600,000 in support of environmental initiatives and sustainability research. The grants are awarded and paid in keeping with the organization’s desire to advance the legacy of Ray C. Anderson (1934-2011), beloved founder and chairman of Interface, Inc. and globally recognized “pioneer for the environment.”
The Gray Notes Grant Program is the Foundation’s official funding vehicle, named after the "gray notes" that Ray used to send questions and comments to Interface associates, thus challenging and inspiring them in their next steps to action.
In February 2013, the Foundation issued a public request for proposals (RFP) to environmental nonprofit organizations, and an invitation only RFP was sent to more than 70 colleges and universities, mainly within the Southeast.
“The response was overwhelming,” said John Lanier, the Foundation’s Director. “I think it opened our eyes to just how many organizations are doing outstanding work across the country. We certainly saw a great need in our own region for funding, and going forward we hope to advance the cause of sustainability in our corner of the world in particular.”
University Research Program Grants Paid in 2013:
Auburn University – Renewal grant for Dr. Jin Wang’s research program in the Department of Chemical Engineering entitled “Next-generation Control Solutions for Sustainable Manufacturing in Pulp Mills.” The team will be working to reduce the energy intensity and chemical consumption associated with the continuous digester process in an effort to improve the manufacturing sustainability and competitiveness of the industry.
Clark Atlanta University – “Fabrication of Bio-based Biodegradable Composites by Green Incorporation of Renewable Nanomaterials into Bio-based Polymers.” The use of nanomaterials as fillers has been expanding, but many are derived from unsustainable sources. Several bio-based, biodegradable polymer systems have been developed, but they need to be processed into composites that meet rigors of durability for consumer needs. Dr. Eric Mintz and his team at CAU will use their grant to explore the incorporation of biobased cellulose nanocrystals into green polymers to make the process more sustainable.
Emory University – Grant to Ciannat Howett, J.D., to hire a Distinguished Teaching Fellow in the area of sustainability leadership and behavior change from a top sustainability doctoral program; enhance Emory's nationally-renowned interdisciplinary faculty development program, the Piedmont Project, to create new research-based, engaged-learning courses; develop a sequenced-learning internship program to apply research skills and sustainability knowledge to assist campus and Atlanta organizations and to create a mentorship program pairing students with business or nonprofit leaders.
Georgia Institute of Technology – Renewal grant for Dr. Yulin Deng’s research project in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering entitled “Green Polyurethanes from 100% Sustainable Natural Materials through Non-isocyanate Reactions.” One of the major goals of this project is to synthesize polyurethanes using natural materials instead of petroleum, and to create an intermediate product that will have applications in various industries.