BOSTON – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $15,000 in funding for a team of Brown University students through its People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3) grants program. The team is receiving funding to develop a sustainable technology to help address problems related to basic sanitation and drinking water for homes in tribal and disadvantaged communities.

“EPA’s P3 grants program supports the next generation of scientists and engineers,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “These students are able to take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to real-world environmental problems that require innovative solutions.”

“This grant will enable Brown University students to further their critical research to find innovative ways to deliver clean water to Tribal and underserved communities,” said EPA acting Regional Administrator Deb Szaro. “This funding demonstrates EPA’s commitment to support research at New England colleges and universities that seeks to address some of our most pressing environmental problems.”

The P3 competition challenges students to research, develop and design innovative projects that address a myriad of environmental protection and public health issues. The Phase I teams will receive grants of up to $15,000 each to fund the proof of concept for their projects.

The Phase I recipients will attend the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo in Boston, Mass., on June 17-18, 2019, to showcase their research. They can then apply for a Phase II grant that provides funding up to $100,000 to further the project design.

These students, who represent the future workforce in diverse scientific and engineering fields, are following in the footsteps of other P3 teams. Some of these teams have gone on to start businesses based on ideas and products developed through their P3 project. In 2018, a previous P3 Phase I awardee from Oklahoma State University (OSU) leveraged P3 funding to initiate their research to develop a cost-effective approach to enhance energy efficiency in wastewater treatment. In furthering their P3 project, OSU transformed the research into a business plan and won the Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition with its startup business plan for Contraire, a predictive analysis control system designed to provide near real-time wastewater test measurements. Amongst 15 other teams, OSU pitched their business plan to a panel of Canadian business leaders and received multiple inquiries from investors.

To learn more about the P3 projects, visit: https://cfpub.epa.gov/ncer_abstracts/index.cfm/fuseaction/recipients.display/rfa_id/639/records_per_page/ALL

For more information on the P3 Program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/P3