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Accelerating Groundbreaking Research to Impact

As Cornell Atkinson has grown, so have the challenges we tackle. Research alone cannot change opinions, practices, products, and policies. Cornell Atkinson is turning toward more and larger collaborative partnerships with external organizations with the resources and will to put Cornell’s sustainability research to work. That means more faculty doing impactful research and more targeted and co-funded awards with external partners to support larger knowledge-to-impact projects. Contact Anna Stratton if you are interested in supporting these signature programs.

Academic Venture Fund

Our premier funding initiative, the AVF is a $1.5 million annual program that seeds multidisciplinary projects in the $50,000-$150,000 range with the potential to propel good ideas forward to make a measurable impact. Projects often include engagement with external partners from industry, government, non-governmental organizations, and foundations.

Donors interested in funding early-stage, faculty-led research in sustainability can make either current-use or endowed commitments to support and expand the program annually or over multiple years.

Innovation for Impact Fund

The IIF links Cornell researchers to leading external organizations working on policy and programs worldwide to build capacity and shorten response time to emerging and critical challenges. IIF awards finance joint projects with partner organizations to foster sustainable solutions for food security, energy transitions, health, and economic development.

Rapid Response Fund

The RRF facilitates urgent or time-sensitive sustainability research, workshops, and other activities. The RRF is a source of funding for smaller projects that cover a broad range of sustainability initiatives.

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"Cornell Atkinson’s commitment to carefully matching researchers is a key reason for the success of these joint projects. We are truly co-creating in a way that accelerates our efforts to advance science in ways that can demonstrate impact."

Doria Gordon
Lead Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund
Rong Yang

"AVF grants enable radical collaborations that have great potential for solving the most critical issues of our time but are too high-risk for federal grants. This program is unique and invaluable."

Rong Yang
Assistant professor in the Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Alex Flecker

"The AVF was fundamental for launching our project on strategic hydropower planning across the Amazon basin. Most importantly, the AVF fostered a collaborative spirit that facilitated bringing together academics and non-academics from more than two dozen institutions to collectively focus on a pressing sustainability issue."

Alex Flecker
Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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