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University of Colorado Denver receives Grand Challenges Explorations funding

Denver (Nov. 7, 2011) The University of Colorado Denver announced today that it will receive funding through Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that enables researchers worldwide to test unorthodox ideas that address persistent health and development challenges. Assistant Professor Zhiyong (Jason) Ren in CU Denver's College of Engineering and Applied Science will pursue an innovative global health research project, titled "Direct Electricity from Fecal Sludge in Bioelectric Systems."

Grand Challenges Explorations funds scientists and researchers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Ren's project is one of 110 Grand Challenges Explorations grants announced today.

"We believe in the power of innovationthat a single bold idea can pioneer solutions to our greatest health and development challenges," said Chris Wilson, Director of Global Health Discovery for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Grand Challenges Explorations seeks to identify and fund these new ideas wherever they come from, allowing scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs to pursue the kinds of creative ideas and novel approaches that could help to accelerate the end of polio, cure HIV infection or improve sanitation."

Projects that are receiving funding show promise in tackling priority global health issues where solutions do not yet exist. This includes finding effective methods to eliminate or control infectious diseases such as polio and HIV as well as discovering new sanitation technologies.

CU Denver's Ren proposes to develop a low-cost and easy-to-operate bioelectric system that can directly convert human waste to usable electricity. If successful, the technology will provide a self-sustainable solution for communities in need of both sanitary waste disposal and energy supply.


Contact: Jacque Montgomery
University of Colorado Denver

Page: 1

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