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Four Teams Win 2014 Scialog Collaborative Innovation Awards

Four ad hoc teams formed during the most recent Scialog conference, held this past October near Tucson, Ariz., have each won $100,000 Collaborative Innovation Awards, according to Richard Wiener, Scialog Program Director, Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA).

The awards fund proposals written during the three-day conference, which was focused on advancing fundamental research aimed at improving solar energy conversion efficiencies.

“These awards are meant to support high-risk, potentially high-reward ideas developed during the unique Scialog process,” said RCSA President Robert Shelton. Scialog encourages game-changing ideas, multidisciplinary collaborations, novel avenues for research, and solutions to highly complex problems.

Collaborative Innovation Awards go to the following projects:

“Emerging Au-VO2 Nanocomposites as a Potentially Switchable CO2 Catalyst,” with team members Yohannes Abate, physics, Georgia State University; Min Ouyang, physics, University of Maryland; and David Cliffel, chemistry, Vanderbilt University.

“Light-Mediated Strain as an Adaptive Tool toward Efficient Catalysis,” with team members Vanessa Huxter, chemistry and biochemistry, University of Arizona; and Sara Skrabalak, chemistry,  Indiana University, Bloomington.

“Scalable Tandem Architecture for Solar Water Splitting,” with team members Shannon Boettcher, chemistry, University of Oregon; and Zachary Holman, electrical engineering, Arizona State University.

“What’s Inside a Perovskite Solar Cell? Learning from (Local) Structure to Design Better Perovskite Solar Cells,” with team members Amy L. Prieto, chemistry, Colorado State University; Richard L. Brutchey, chemistry, University of Southern California; and Sarbajit Banerjee, chemistry, Texas A&M University.

According to Wiener, “At the heart of this Scialog is a process of dialog to build a vibrant network of world- class researchers passionately working to help solve global energy challenges.” 

Scialog meetings are held at Biosphere2 near Tucson and are attended by a diverse group of 50 – 60 scientists. The next Scialog conference, Molecules Come to Life, will be held March 12-15, and will focus on innovative ideas bridging theoretical physics and physical cell biology. This two-year initiative is jointly sponsored by RCSA and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

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