Sustainability Innovation Seed Grant Program

Sustainability Innovation Seed Grant Program

Project Description

Sustainability is a pluralistic and inclusive way of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. The Sustainability Innovation Seed Grant program is an opportunity for students to be part of this balance. With grant funding and resources offered by sustainability@BU and Innovate@BU, students are empowered to kick-start a project or develop an intervention that tackles the leading sustainability challenges facing Boston University.

Background Information

The topics that constitute environmental sustainability – climate change resilience, emissions and energy, education and engagement, zero waste, and more – are interconnected, but each one can be uniquely explored through innovation.

  • Climate change is a result of human activities that alter the atmosphere, resulting in rising temperatures, extreme weather, adverse human health effects, and more. (Learn more from the BU Climate Action Plan)
  • The impacts of climate change will disproportionately impact vulnerable populations. (Learn more from the Carbon Free Boston Report)
  • Resilience is the ability for individuals, communities, institutions, and systems within a city to adapt and mitigate to social, economic, and climate shocks. (Learn more from the Resilient Boston Report)
  • Even if greenhouse gas emissions were to stop immediately, their long lifetimes in the atmosphere would ensure that climate change would continue for decades. (Learn more from the BU Climate Action Plan)
  • Zero Waste means diverting 90% or more of waste from the landfill through reducing, reusing, recycling, composting, and inspiring innovation (Learn more from Zero Waste Boston)

Innovation Requirements

Sustainability innovations should provide solutions for Boston University, but preference is given to those that have an impact beyond campus. They must meet one or more of the recommendations outlined in the Boston University Climate Action Plan, and should fall under one of these four topics: climate change resilience, emissions and energy, education and engagement, or zero waste. Innovation ideas from all fields of study are welcome. We encourage design plans that scale to participate in further challenges and grant opportunities.

Grant Amount

Students can apply for up to $500 to cover the costs of materials, printing, stipends, and more.

Application and Grant Timeline

Application opens: September 10, 2019
Application closes: October 1, 2019
Applications accepted: October 8, 2019
Seed grant given: Mid-October
Final report due: December 6th, 2019
Project showcase at IDEA Conference: February 15, 2020

Project Selection Process

The judges will evaluate projects based on the following criteria:

  • Impact on the BU campus(es) and community
  • Connection to the BU Climate Action Plan
  • Realistic budget
  • Originality

Preference is given to projects that are scalable beyond BU.

Application Instructions

Submit a completed online application by October 1.

To learn more about the Sustainability Innovation Seed Grant, please join us at the following events:

  • Visit us at the Sustainability Festival on Thursday September 19 from 11-2pm on Marsh Plaza on the Charles River Campus
  • Sustainability Seed Grant Info Session on Friday September 20 from 1:15-2:15 at the BUild Lab (730 Commonwealth Ave.)
  • Visit us at the Sustainability Festival on Wednesday September 25 from 11-2pm at Talbot Green on the BU Medical Campus



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