About the Atkinson Center
Venture Scholars. Sustainability with an Entrepreneurial Spirit.
Founded by a generous gift from David and Pat Atkinson, the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future empowers faculty to think outside of their departments and across disciplines when it comes to tackling the world's greatest challenge—creating a vital and resilient future for the global community. By providing start-up funding for cross-college collaborations, emergency research, and partnerships with non-profits, government, and industry, the Atkinson Center supports the pioneering risk-takers at the very heart of radical collaboration through multiple funds and fellowship programs, including:
Academic Venture Fund—The Academic Venture Fund (AVF) seeds original, multidisciplinary research that is not likely to find funding elsewhere because the projects are novel, risky, need early data to establish traction, or involve new teams working together.
Innovation for Impact Fund—The Innovation for Impact Fund (IIF) connects our non-profit, government, and industry partners with the research capacity at Cornell in order to jointly develop and test evidence-based solutions. Current collaborators include: CARE, The Nature Conservancy, the Environmental Defense Fund, Avangrid,
and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute.
Rapid Response Fund—The Rapid Response Fund (RRF) facilitates urgent or time-sensitive sustainability research, workshops, and other activities. With unusually flexible guidelines, the RRF is a source of funding for smaller projects that foster a broad range of sustainability initiatives.
Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts Faculty Fellows —The Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts (SSHA) Faculty Fellows Fund complements and extends the work of the center’s life, physical, environmental, and agricultural sciences’ fellows by adding a unique and invaluable perspective to the sustainability conversation—reshaping imaginations, behaviors, and minds.
Explore all the ways in which the Atkinson Center creates real-world, sustainable impact:
We have general and targeted grant and fellowship programs to spur a wide range of sustainability activities.
The Atkinson Center connects with external partners – from corporations to nonprofits – that have on-the-ground capacity to identify, test, and implement research-proven strategies that work.
We support summer internships at leading environmental organizations for students who want to solve sustainability problems, shape policy, and gain real-world work experience.
We facilitate engagement with policymakers and news organizations and provide broad communication training and support for researchers who want to reach beyond the university.