EPA Research Director Talks Innovation on Earth Day [Video]

National Sustainable Design Expo Chooses Six Winners
The EPA's program for People, Prosperity and the Planet (P3), which seeks to foster new technologies brewing at US universities, has just chosen the winners of its annual National Sustainable Design Expo. Last weekend, as more than 40 universities displayed their entries on Washington's National Mall, I caught up with Christopher Zarba, Deputy Center Director of the EPA's National Center for Environmental Research, to ask about the competition, how the agency helps innovators and inventors, and the EPA's renewed emphasis on science under agency head Lisa Jackson.Encouraging innovation is not the priority of the Environmental Protection Administration, which is swamped with policies and regulatory activity (hello, CO2). But the PPP program, which seeks to get students to bring their designs to market, helps augment the agency's work with commercial solutions.

"Scientific innovation has long been a driving force behind the U.S. economy," said Lek Kadeli, acting assistant administrator for the Office of Research and Development. "The ingenuity displayed by this year's People, Prosperity and the Planet award winners shows that we can look forward to a bright future where economic growth and environmental sustainability go hand in hand."

This year's winners are

University of Arizona - Development of Sustainable Integrated Aquaculture Systems with Assessment of Environmental, Social, and Economic Implications

Columbia University - Multifunction Energy Platform Pilot

Drexel University, Syntactic Selective Near Infrared Scattering Architectural Coatings

University of South Florida - Water Awareness, Research and Education in east Tampa: A Pilot Collaboration Involving USF, Young Magnet Middle School, and the East Tampa Community

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - A Novel Solar Thermal Combined Cycle with Bio-methane Carbon Capture for Distributed Power Generation

University of Tennessee at Knoxville - The New Norris House: A Sustainable Home for the 21st Century

More information on the winners is at the EPA's People Prosperity and Planet website.

And if you're in DC today, the EPA is holding an Earth Day celebration at its headquarters.

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