Colorado State University has been recognized with a top award from the United State Department of Agriculture for its Clean Energy Supercluster. The supercluster concept involves speeding cutting-edge technology to the marketplace. Colorado State’s Clean Energy Supercluster is an institution-wide effort to develop and disseminate market-driven clean energy solutions on a sufficient scale to reduce the accumulation of greenhouse gases that are affecting climate change.
The USDA announced that Colorado State was one of 13 universities to receive the Grand Challenge award during its Bio Energy Awareness Days conference June 19-22 in Washington, D.C. The event helps to increase awareness and knowledge related to the sustainable production of agriculture-based and natural resource-based renewable energy and the efficient use and conservation of energy for the benefit of rural communities and the nation. The Grand Challenge award recognizes and promotes the development of visions that universities will contribute in the emerging bio economy.
"USDA is presenting exhibits about how government, academia and the private sector are working together to develop agriculture and natural resource-based renewable energy and energy conservation and efficiency," said Gale Buchanan, under secretary for Research, Education and Economics. "These exhibits will give the public as well as all of higher education excellent ideas about how to position themselves to support the ‘New Agricultural Paradigm’ – food, fiber, and energy.
"I welcome Colorado State’s involvement and their contributions to today’s conversation about how we can make America stronger by advancing renewable energy."
Colorado State’s Grand Challenge award was accepted by Jan Leach, professor of plant pathology in the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management. Leach is a key member of CSU’s Clean Energy Supercluster team and a highly regarded faculty member. Last year, Colorado State President Larry Edward Penley bestowed the title of University Distinguished Professor on Leach. It is one of the university’s highest recognitions awarded for outstanding accomplishments in research and scholarship.
The USDA’s Grand Challenge award also were handed out to University of Arizona, University of Hawaii, Cornell University, University of Illinois, Kansas State University, Iowa State University, Ohio State University, Auburn University, Oklahoma State University, University of Georgia, University of Kentucky, West Virginia University, Tuskegee University, Alabama A&M University and California Polytechnic State University.