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Climate and Environment

UC System Gets $15 Million To Address Climate Concerns

The sun sets behind burnt and dead pine trees.
The sun sets behind burnt and dead pine trees destroyed in a 2020 wildfire at Oroville Lake in Oroville, California, July 25, 2021. The UC system has received grant money to research ways to fight the climate crisis. Among the issues is extreme heat. UCLA plans to find ways to keep buildings cooler, while other UC schools are focusing on the effects of smoke from wildfires.
(Robyn Beck
AFP via Getty Images)
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The University of California system has received $15 million in state grants to research various products to help tackle the climate crisis.

According to a release from the UC system, the grants are part of a $185 million partnership between UC and the state. Each UC school will get a two-year grant to focus on projects that will help California communities vulnerable to climate disasters.

UCLA plans to use the money to develop an exterior paint that helps buildings stay cooler, according to Dina Lozofsky, senior director of business development in UCLA's Tech Development Group, which manages the funding.

"If you can cover these with a paint that radiates the heat away, you will need less air conditioning," she said. "It will be cooler where you don't have enough air conditioning. And so this this is good just in general for climate action, but also for some of our most vulnerable communities."

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Lozofsky added that the focus for all the UCs are projects where technology in the lab can quickly be commercialized and used in the real world.

UC Riverside plans to utilize grant money to launch what it calls the OASIS Entrepreneurial Academy, "which will offer education, mentorship and help with commercialization to climate innovators from across the Inland Empire," according to a statement.

Elsewhere, UC San Francisco will focus on the effects of wildfire smoke on people in the Bay Area, using funds to develop data and clinical response plans.

An additional $80 million in grants for higher ed researchers all over California is expected to come later in the year, according to the UC system.

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