NSF Launches Global Centers for Climate Change & Clean Energy Research
The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has joined hands with funding agencies from Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom to introduce the NSF Global Centers in Climate Change and Clean Energy (Global Centers) program. These centers will serve as collaborative research hubs, bringing together international experts to conduct interdisciplinary research that addresses the challenges of climate change and clean energy.
By adopting best practices in broadening participation and community engagement, the Global Centers aim to develop use-inspired research on climate change and clean energy. They will support convergent interdisciplinary collaborations that focus on assessing and mitigating the impacts of climate change on society, people, and communities. In addition, the centers will create opportunities for students and early-career researchers to receive education and training in world-class research, with a focus on enhancing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
The Global Centers program is a multilateral funding initiative, led by NSF and four partner organizations: Australia’s CSIRO, Canada’s Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), and the United Kingdom’s UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). These organizations have collectively pledged over AU$118 million in investment over five years to combat climate change and work towards achieving net zero emissions.
The outcomes of the Global Centers’ activities are expected to inform and inspire the development of innovative solutions and technologies to address climate change. Examples of potential outcomes include increasing awareness of critical information, advocating for decarbonization efforts, developing climate change adaptation plans tailored to specific regions and communities, utilizing artificial intelligence to study nature’s response to climate change, addressing transboundary water issues, and scaling up the production of next-generation technologies aimed at achieving net zero emissions.
The funding for the Global Centers program will be divided into two tracks. Track 1 involves implementation grants that will be co-funded by international partners. Notably, two Australian projects will be part of Track 1. Track 2 consists of design grants, which will provide seed funding for the development of multidisciplinary teams and their scientific research. These teams, involving multiple countries, will coordinate their efforts in research and education to become eligible for Track 1 funding in the future.
NSF builds capacity and advances its priorities through these centers of research excellence by uniting diverse teams from around the world, said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. He further added, Global Centers will sync talent across the globe to generate the discoveries and solutions needed to empower resilient communities everywhere.
With the launch of the NSF Global Centers in Climate Change and Clean Energy, researchers worldwide will have a platform to collaborate and contribute to groundbreaking research that addresses the urgent issues of climate change and clean energy. Through international cooperation and knowledge-sharing, these centers aim to pave the way for a sustainable and resilient future.