Sustainability Innovation Seed Grant

Supporting student innovation to solve pressing problems

The concept of sustainability helps us meet our present needs without sacrificing the needs of future generations.

The Sustainability Innovation Seed Grant program invites students to be part of this movement. With funding and resources offered by BU Sustainability and Innovate@BU, students are empowered to kick-start a project or develop an intervention that tackles the leading sustainability challenges facing BU.

Learn more about the 2023-2024 award recipients here.

Alignment with the Climate Action Plan

Sustainability innovations should provide solutions for Boston University, but preference is given to those that also have an impact beyond campus. They must meet one or more of the recommendations outlined in our Climate Action Plan, and should relate to one (or more) of these five topics:

  • Climate change resilience
  • Emissions and energy
  • Education and engagement
  • Environmental Justice
  • Zero Waste

This program could be a stepping stone to the Climate Innovation Challenge, hosted by Innovate@BU, which will focus on climate change resiliency in the City of Boston. Consider this seed grant as a means of starting your journey to solve bigger problems and participate in more substantial competitions.

Funding Details

Accepted project ideas receive $500 to cover the costs of materials, printing, stipends, and more.

Selection Criteria

Innovations from all fields of study and experience are welcome. We encourage projects that could scale up for further challenges and grant opportunities. Submissions are evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Impact on the BU campus(es) and community
  • Connection to the BU Climate Action Plan
  • Clarity of the plan
  • Originality
  • Ability to complete

Call for Submissions

The application for AY 2023-2024 is now closed. Please check back next fall for the next funding cycle. In the meantime, we encourage you to look into the Climate Innovation Challenge, hosted by Innovate@BU.

AY 2023-2024

  • Application available: September 1, 2023
  • Information Session 1: September 27, 2023
  • Information Session 2: October 26, 2023
  • Deadline for submissions: November 1, 2023
  • Funding notification: Mid-November, 2023
  • Report out: March 20, 2023

Learn about the Topic Areas

Though climate change resilience, emissions and energy, education and engagement, environmental justice, Zero Waste, and other issues linked with sustainable living are interconnected, each one can be explored uniquely through innovation.

Learn more about how students are using funding to kickstart their sustainability ideas. Watch the video here. To learn more about the 2022-2023 recipients, read this article from BU Today.

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 to and mitigate social, economic, and climate shocks. Learn more from the Resilient Boston Report

If greenhouse gas emissions were to stop tomorrow, the long life of these gases in the atmosphere would ensure that climate change would continue for decades. Learn more from the BU Climate Action Plan

Environmental Justice is defined as “All people and communities have the right to equal environmental protection under the law, and the right to live, work and play in communities that are safe, healthy and free of life-threatening conditions.”

Zero Waste means diverting 90% or more of waste from landfill/incineration through reducing, reusing, recycling, composting, and inspiring innovation. Learn more from Zero Waste Boston

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