Through its Center for a Sustainable Future, Cornell commits to undertake five broad, inter-related activities to support its initiatives on energy, environment and economic development:
- Research: build interdisciplinary teams, exploit discoveries that enhance impact, and leverage CCSF resources.
- Partnerships: establish, nurture and grow associations with key external partners from foundations, governments, industry, non-governmental organizations, and other academic institutions in the U.S. and internationally.
- Faculty recruitment and development: start-up and bridging funds to stimulate hiring in critical areas of need and opportunity.
- Education: student involvement and learning through courses, activities and research. Building leadership and skills to address complex issues.
- Outreach: bring fact-based information to the public. In the start-up phase, CCSF will focus most of its resources on creating innovative research teams through the awarding of seed grants from an 'academic venture fund.'
The Center will operate, in part, as an Academic Venture Fund. Through internal competitions, we will identify and support interdisciplinary research teams with the potential to attract external partners and funding to help generate breakthrough solutions to complex and pressing sustainability problems.
The CCSF will be managed by a faculty director and three faculty associate directors, one for each theme area. In addition, faculty advisory and external advisory committees will help guide the center and assure that it is dynamic and successful. The center will be supported by a small cadre of talented staff who carry out essential stewardship functions.
Progress of the Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future will be measured by:
- The number of interdisciplinary research teams established: most PIs have not previously collaborated with other team members
- The number of publications per PI per year from supported work
- The number of major partnerships formed with organizations that can implement innovations/ideas
- The number of innovations that can impact less developed countries, form the basis of disruptive technologies, systems, institutions
- The number of students involved through courses, research, outreach
- The number of major advances in energy, environment and economic development
- Director and associate directors in place by spring 2008.
- Develop and publicize CCSF Request for Proposals by May 1, 2008, with proposals to be received by June 30, 2008.
- External advisory committee to be constituted during spring 2008 and will hold its first formal meeting in fall 2008.