Bio-inspired Solar Energy
What can nature teach us about using energy from the sun?
Humans consume one trillion watts of energy annually, and the amount will double by 2050. The fossil fuels that we use to generate most of that energy contribute to global warming, making it vital that we develop renewable energy. This includes finding better ways of generating and storing energy from the Sun.
Fortunately, Nature has lessons to teach us. The process of photosynthesis, which plants use to turn the Sun’s energy into fuel, has been optimized over billions of years of evolution. CIFAR’s Bio-inspired Solar Energy program examines the lessons of photosynthetic organisms to create better ways of harvesting light energy, of transporting it, and of storing it.
The program brings together researchers from across disciplines to work on questions that could lead to more efficient solar panels, better batteries, new green fuels, and other technologies that will feed the world’s need for energy without contributing to climate change.
Details for applicants to the CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars program
The Bio-inspired Solar Energy program pursues insights from biological and complex systems to advance artificial solar-to-electricity and solar-to-fuels energy conversion. Its mission is to conceive and develop new concepts that might be purposed to enable energy-relevant, demanding chemical transformations, devices, or functions. Inspiration is drawn by broad-scope discussions about collective effects that emerge in complex systems or that are evident in biological function. Collaborations are complemented by discussion and implementation of high-risk, high-gain directions and coordinated brainstorming of more complex and long-term ideas.
Path to Societal Impact
We invite experts in industry, civil society, healthcare and government to join fellows in our Bio-Inspired Solar Energy program for in-depth, cross-sectoral conversations that drive change and innovation.
Experts from industry and government laboratories and CIFAR fellows in the Bio-Inspired Solar Energy program are developing highly efficient carbon dioxide electrolyzers that can mitigate climate change.
Areas of focus:
- Understanding the chemical processes and equipment needed to generate feedstock chemicals from carbon dioxide
- Developing highly efficient, stable, and scalable carbon dioxide electrolyzers
Contact: Fiona Cunningham, Director of Innovation
Arthur J.E. Child Foundation, Chisholm Thomson Family Foundation, Gerald Heffernan, Ivey Foundation, Max Bell Foundation, The George Cedric Metcalf Charitable Foundation
Fellows & Advisors
CIFAR Azrieli Global Scholars
CIFAR's Bio-inspired Solar Energy research Fellows with international experts in academia, industry and national governm...May 7, 2020
CIFAR is a registered charitable organization supported by the governments of Canada, Alberta and Quebec, as well as foundations, individuals, corporations and Canadian and international partner organizations.