Jacksonville University announces initiative to address Northeast Florida climate issues

May 03, 2023

Jacksonville University launches the JU Climate Innovation Challenge, an initiative to empower the community to develop innovative solutions to environmental challenges.

The JU Climate Innovation Challenge is a "Shark Tank" style grant competition in which members of the Northeast Florida community of all ages are invited to present their climate problem-solving proposals for the possibility of receiving up to $10,000 in funding to take their project to the next step. 

The grant competition is interdisciplinary and welcomes participants and projects from various fields such as the arts, humanities, sciences, medical and health services, engineering, business, military offices, law, public policy, and government. Possible projects include mitigating an environmental problem, raising public awareness of the impacts of climate change, investigating the causes of and viable solutions to global climate change, or promoting positive community action. Submissions can take the form of an invention, scientific study, performing or creative arts, and other mediums. 

“This competition unites Northeast Florida around the multi-faceted issue of global climate change and utilizes the community’s different skill sets to drive positive change to our environment,” said Dr. Christopher Corbo, Dean of the Jacksonville University College of Arts and Sciences.

Applications for the initiative open May 15 and will close July 21, and can be submitted via email to climate@ju.edu. Notification of acceptance will be sent in early September. Participants chosen to move forward to the semi-finals will be invited to present their ideas to an expert panel in a public forum. 

The prize money can be used to develop a play, a documentary, a research project, a legislative or regulatory proposal, an invention, a new business, civil education program, or a community project. This is a unique opportunity for the community to come together and collaborate on innovative approaches to environmental challenges. 

“There is a lot of talk about climate change, and now Jacksonville University’s Climate Innovation Challenge is hoping to motivate people to do something about it. Specifically, we are seeking to make a positive impact on our home here in Northeast Florida,” said Jacksonville University College of Law Dean Nick Allard. “Even small ideas can generate ripples of progress that can become waves of change.”

The JU Climate Innovation Challenge was made possible through a partnership between the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Law, Marine Science Research Institute, and Public Policy Institute.

“As an educational institution, we have a responsibility to take our disciplines and research and apply them to the complex issues that face our planet, the most critical being climate change,” Dr. Corbo said. “For nearly 90 years, service and stewardship have driven the mission of Jacksonville University forward, and as we open up this grant competition, we invite all interested members of the community to come alongside us in this work.”

Jacksonville University will host an online information session for interested applicants on May 15 at 4 p.m. For more information, visit the JU Climate Innovation Challenge website.

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