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Environment

NSF Launches Four Engineering Centers

by Susan R. Morrissey
August 22, 2011 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 89, ISSUE 34

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Credit: Arizona State University
One new center will focus on increasing the nation’s solar photovoltaic energy supply.
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Credit: Arizona State University
One new center will focus on increasing the nation’s solar photovoltaic energy supply.

To advance interdisciplinary research and education in collaboration with industry, NSF launched four new Engineering Research Centers last week. The four centers, set to get a total of $74 million over the next five years, will focus on solar energy, energy transmission, water infrastructure, and neural engineering. The two energy-related centers will receive matching funding from the Department of Energy, marking the first time another federal agency is a partner in the Engineering Research Centers program. “Through this partnership, as with partnerships between NSF and industry, we bring together complementary strategic objectives,” NSF Assistant Director for Engineering Thomas Peterson said in a statement. “Jointly funded ERCs will have unique opportunities to advance basic and translational research and to shape the energy workforce—all of which will be essential for energy innovation.” The new centers bring the total number of centers in the program to 17 and can be renewed for up to 10 years.

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