Convergent research, which crosses traditional disciplinary borders, needs better coordination and support if it is to spur innovation and tackle societal challenges, according to a study from the National Research Council. “It is time for a systematic effort to highlight the value of convergence as an approach to R&D and to address lingering challenges,” says committee chair Joseph M. DeSimone, a chemistry professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a chemical engineering professor at North Carolina State University. Convergent research has great potential to address problems ranging from energy storage to chronic illnesses, but traditional disciplinary barriers continue to inhibit convergence efforts, the report says. It suggests that universities can help overcome those barriers by, for example, creating theme-based research programs or rewarding convergent research projects in tenure and promotion decisions. Foundations and federal agencies can provide seed money for convergent research projects and work together to better coordinate major interdisciplinary research initiatives, the report also suggests.