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Key Objective: 12. Sustainability Research

Illinois intends to position itself as a world leader in the area of sustainability research. The creation of the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment (iSEE) is a direct result of this directive. One of iSEE’s core missions is to foster actionable, interdisciplinary research to address fundamental global challenges in sustainability, energy and environment.

Three main iSEE objectives were identified to enhance Illinois’ research portfolio in sustainability:

45.Create a virtual hub for the sustainability community: to develop a comprehensive online gateway for faculty, staff, students, potential donors, and all interested parties to find information about sustainability research, education, outreach, initiatives, and operations.

» The rebranded iSEE website serves this purpose.

46. Build connections by bringing together scholars from across campus to encourage collaboration and to enhance research endeavors.

» Because campus is geographically large and fairly segmented in that space, many people who work on the same topic but in different units may never meet one another. iSEE’s scholars programs get people together to talk about challenges and develop collaborations. The Illinois Water Scholars are already established. Other groups are coming soon.

47. Foster “actionable” research that provides real-world solutions to society’s grand challenges in sustainability, energy and the environment. iSEE research themes are broken into five categories: Climate Solutions, Energy Transitions, Secure and Sustainable Agriculture, Sustainable Infrastructure, and Water and Land Stewardship.

» 7 projects are currently funded by iSEE.