EnergyBill Gates is taking climate change head on with his newly formed Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund. Gates is leading the fund along with a network of investors worth $170 billion, including Virgin’s Richard Branson and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

BEV will donate more than $1 billion into clean energy innovation projects over the next 20 years, focusing on its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Anything that leads to cheap, clean, reliable energy we’re open-minded to,” Gates says.

This move by Gates comes after his commitment last year to personally invest an additional $1 billion into clean energy.

However, this move will shift Gates away from his home turf of information technology.

“People think you can just put $50 million in and wait two years and then you know what you got,” Gates says. “In this energy space, that’s not true at all.”

A driving force behind the fund is to take innovative new technologies from the lab to the marketplace. Currently, the federal government funds a huge percentage of fundamental research efforts in fields such as energy storage, which are the subsequently commercialized by private investors.


At the 229th ECS Meeting in San Diego, we had the opportunity to gather the grantees from our Science for Solving Society’s Problems challenge, done in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Nine grantees came to the table to discuss how ECS facilitated an unprecedented program leading to ground-breaking collaboration and real scientific advancements, while creating a funding opportunity which has helped contribute to planet sustainability.

Listen as these esteemed researchers discuss the global water and sanitation crisis and how electrochemical and solid state science could begin to solve these pressing issues. Today you’ll hear from Plamen Atanassov, University of New Mexico; Luis Godinez, CIDETEQ; Gemma Reguera, Michigan State University; Juan Pablo Esquivel and Erik Kjeang, CSIC and Simon Fraser University; Jorg Kretzschmar (on behalf of Falk Harnisch), Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research; Gerardine Botte, Ohio University; Eric Wachsman, University of Maryland; Carl Hensman, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation representative, and our host E. Jennings Taylor.

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ECS Recognized for Global Humanitarian Efforts

P1110129The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) recently awarded the Power of A Gold Award to ECS for the Society’s exemplary humanitarian efforts. Though a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Society was able to establish the Science for Solving Society’s Problems Challenge to leverage the brainpower of some of the top scientists in the world in an effort to solve global issues in water and sanitation.

The ASAE Power of A Awards are presented annually to associations that use their resources to instill a positive change in the world. Receiving the award denotes an association’s commitment to improve world conditions, solve some of the most pressing global issues, and kick start innovation.

Other associations honored include the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for their Future Engineers 3D Space Challenges, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry for, and the Emergency Nurses Association for their Ebola Crisis Response.

Learn more about our Science for Solving Society’s Problems Challenge and ECS’s other humanitarian efforts, such as the ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship.