Home » Kentucky awarded $20 million from NSF to grow ‘new energy economy’

Kentucky awarded $20 million from NSF to grow ‘new energy economy’

Another $4 million to come from Kentucky EPSCoR

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Aug. 27, 2014) — A project aimed at helping Kentucky transition to a “new energy economy” has been awarded $20 million from the National Science Foundation.

nsfKentucky was one of six jurisdictions chosen to receive a five-year Research Infrastructure Improvement Track 1 award from the NSF’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

An additional $4 million in matching funds comes from Kentucky EPSCoR, which receives funding from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education.

Kentucky’s project, “Powering the Kentucky Bioeconomy for a Sustainable Future,” provides a major upgrade to the commonwealth’s research infrastructure, with targeted investments at 10 Kentucky research and higher-education institutions

The project’s overarching goal is to discover and develop engineered bio-systems for energy, environmental and industrial applications, focusing on three intersecting “research pillars”: Advanced Bio-Inspired Membrane Technologies, Chemical Biology for Advanced Materials, and Electrochemical Energy Storage. The work is to take place within the framework of an inclusive, statewide program that encourages interdisciplinary problem-solving across the biological, chemical and engineering sciences.

Gov. Steve Beshear stressed the broader impacts of the project, which include increasing the number of students from under-represented groups completing degrees in STEM disciplines, with particular focus on first-generation students from Appalachia and rural areas.