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2021-2022 Challenges

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Supporting rapidly deployable energy and environmental solutions

This program provides resources to teams from the Stanford community to generate and advance solutions to problems that require timely action to avoid irreversible consequences.

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For Academic Year 2021-2022

We are requesting submissions for solutions that will address the direct and underlying causes and consequences of these two specific challenges:

Tropical forest

Tropical deforestation

Tropical forests contain more than half of the species of life on Earth and absorb billions of tons of CO2 each year. Despite decades of efforts to improve protection of these irreplaceable ecosystems, tropical deforestation continues to proceed at an alarming rate. This problem poses one of the greatest threats to the planet’s biodiversity and carbon stores. Tropical forests are typically cleared to create new agricultural and pasture land, but the specific drivers in any deforestation hotspot may be complex and rapidly evolving. There is an urgent need for new and better solutions that directly curtail deforestation or address the underlying causes. Opportunities include creating innovations that reduce farmland demand in tropical regions, change consumer preferences, improve the tracking of products from cleared forestland, or increase mechanisms for protecting forests.

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Greenhouse gases in the developing world

There is a direct, historical relationship between economic growth and greenhouse gas emissions. In the developing world the emissions originating from new construction and the heating, cooling and refrigeration associated with them are expected to dramatically rise if this dependency isn’t disrupted. To this end there is a pressing need and enormous opportunity to develop and deploy environmentally friendly solutions including building materials, high efficiency electrical appliances and fluorocarbon free refrigeration and cooling technologies. Key desirable attributes and challenges will be cost, performance, scalability and indigenization of technology. A number of advanced economies have been able to break the dependency –what asymmetric strategies can the developing world adopt to follow suit?

Program details

Proposals due January 7, 2022

Applications will open Dec 2021

Move your solutions from ideation to impact through the progressing phases of the program. Phased funding is contingent on progress, viability of the solution, and level of commitment of the team.

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Proposals due January 7, 2022

Program details

In partnership with:

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