Stanford Dumps $100 Million Into Cleantech Institute

From the school that gave us Google, comes a stepped up effort to expand green research. $100 million won’t go far, but it’s something:

Venture Beat: Stanford University just upped the ante on its green technology efforts, announcing today that it is founding a new energy institute on campus with an initial price tag of $100 million. The staggering sum [sic] — considering the very visible downturn in the university’s endowment — will go toward bringing new faculty and even more graduate students on board to investigate alternative and sustainable sources of energy.

Christened the Precourt Institute for Energy, the facility is designed to absorb and bolster the activities of Stanford’s existing Global Climate & Energy Project (GCEP), which already manages 40 initiatives aimed at slashing greenhouse gas emissions. In the six years GCEP has been active, the university has increased its cleantech research spending seven-fold, but as its president, John Hennessy, put it today, that amount has still proved “simply inadequate.”

The institute’s funding, received in several large chunks from alumni donors, will go toward five new endowed professorships (six to eight faculty posts in all), 20 new interdisciplinary fellowships for graduate students, several post-doctoral fellowships, seed grants for commercially promising energy conversion research projects, and a $2 million competition for projects this spring. Overall, the institute will cover the estimated $30 million the university spends annually on green technology.

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