Last week, Columbia University announced it will launch an accelerator program to help develop, commercialize and scale technology designed to cut emissions and convert CO2 into products.
The announcement came during the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland, after Columbia received $10 million in seed funding under the New York State’s Carbontech Development Initiative.
The aim of the program is to provide researchers and entrepreneurs with the opportunity to expand on their work related to carbon capture, utilization and storage tech, whereas New York will become a center for carbontech innovation.
In a statement regarding the new initiative, Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger emphasized Columbia’s unique position to help mitigate the climate crisis thanks to its “expertise and commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration”.
Bollinger also pointed out that the funding would help scale “critically important carbon technologies” both at the University and across the state of New York.
A further $9.1 million was also awarded to the nonprofit Activate under the same initiative in order to create a fellowship program for entrepreneurs based in New York.
The program is set to work together with the Columbia Startup Fellows Program, where Activate fellows will be given access to Columbia’s lab space and specialized equipment.
The university’s initiative will, thus, bring together world-class facilities and knowledge that will help advance technologies necessary to scale products made from CO2.
As a result, the program can greatly contribute to achieving deep decarbonization and creating sustainable communities.
In fact, Columbia has already proven its strong position in the movement to decarbonize the global economy with multiple offices committed to aiding researchers in the field and establishing a dedicated climate and engineering school.
Furthermore, Columbia is where many green startups have taken root in recent years. One prominent example is Heirloom, which captures CO2 emissions directly from the air and injects them deep underground for permanent storage.
A portion of the university’s research efforts under the Carbontech Development Initiative will focus on three main areas:
- Capturing CO2 emissions from the air, oceans and industrial facilities;
- Turning carbon into minerals and other materials;
- Using those materials in construction and other industries.
Commercialization will also be a strong focus of the program, with an emphasis being made on market and policy analysis.