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ECS Press Room

Water and Sanitation Problems to be Focus of
4th International Electrochemical Energy Summit

ECS partners with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with innovative solution to funding research

Pennington, NJ - (August 14, 2014) - The Electrochemical Society (ECS) is partnering with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) initiative to host a multi-day workshop at the 2014 International Electrochemical Energy Summit (E2S) in Cancun, Mexico being held October 5-9, 2014. The workshop will culminate in the on the spot distribution of over $200,000 in seed funding from ECS, addressing critical technology gaps in water, sanitation, and hygiene challenges being faced around the world.

Forty percent of the world’s population—2.5 billion people—practice open defecation or lack adequate sanitation facilities, and the consequences can be devastating for human health as well as the environment.

ECS hopes to improve access to clean water and sanitation in developing countries by leveraging the brainpower of the many scientists in electrochemistry and solid state science and technology attending the 2014 ECS and Sociedad Mexicana de Electroquímica Joint International Meeting.

Priority topic areas will include interfaces, disinfection, energy generation, energy storage, chemical conversion, monitoring and measurement, and dewatering technologies, among others, including a “wild card” topic area to be decided by participants.

“ECS is excited to partner with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help address the urgent water and sanitation challenges the world is facing,” says ECS president Paul Kohl. “This partnership provides a unique opportunity for researchers to generate potential solutions and then almost immediately start testing them.”

The workshop will kick-off with remarks from current awardees of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Participants will be guided through facilitated brainstorming and working group sessions. Attendees will work in full group and breakout sessions to address complex scientific issues, gaps and needs. They will be encouraged create partnerships and surface new approaches to existing challenges within the WASH portfolio.

To submit your name for the potential opportunity to participate in the brainstorming session, please click here.

At least two grants will be distributed on the last day of the meeting from the more than $200,000 available, each in the range of $25,000-$100,000. Participants are expected to develop potential partnerships and collaborative proposals, then make an oral presentation. An independent review committee will review the proposals and make award recommendations by Friday, Oct. 10. 2014.

Grantees will also be invited to present in a technical symposia at a future ECS meeting. The workshop will occur as part of the fourth international Electrochemical Energy Summit (E2S) during the 2014 ECS and SMEQ Joint International meeting. ECS instituted the E2S in October 2011 to bring together scientists, policy makers, government officials, and industry leaders to educate about global energy issues and research in electrochemical energy that can address societal energy needs. This year’s E2S will focus on the energy water nexus.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Facts

  • 783 million people do not have access to clean water
  • 2.5 billion people (40% of the world’s population) lack access to adequate sanitation facilities
  • an estimated 80% of diseases in developing countries is caused by lack of sanitation
  • poor sanitation contributes to about 700,000 child deaths from diarrhea each year
Source: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention

Learn More
More information about this program.

About ECS
Leading the world in electrochemistry and solid-state science and technology for more than 110 years, The Electrochemical Society was founded in 1902 as an international nonprofit, educational organization. ECS now has more than 9,000 individual and institutional members in more than 75 countries. Home of The Journal of The Electrochemical Society—the oldest peer-reviewed journal in its field—ECS technical content is published in the ECS Digital Library, a searchable online collection of ECS technical journals and other publications.

The Electrochemical Society
Rob Gerth
Director of Marketing and Social Engagement
609-737-1902, Ext. 114 |

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