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Congratulations to the 2024 Creativity Hubs Finalists

Congratulations to the 2024 Creativity Hubs Finalists


March 21, 2024 | By UNC-Chapel Hill Communication

UNC Chemistry is pleased to share that of the five finalists for this year’s Creativity Hubs seed-funding competition, one of the team representing the College of Arts and Sciences is comprised of almost entirely Chemistry faculty. The goal of these teams is to highlight the effectiveness of uniting diverse problem-solvers to tackle big challenges. Creativity Hub winning projects are expected to lead to large-scale extramural funding and/or commercial opportunities.

The proposal, entitled Advancing Solid Electrolytes for Next-Generation Lithium Batteries, is sponsored by Professors Wei You, Theo Dingemans, James Cahoon, Frank Leibfarth, Megan Jackson, and Alexander Miller.  They have elected to focus on lithium-ion batteries due to the batteries’ prevalence within daily life while still offering a variety of issues to improve upon, not least of which being flammability, non-recyclability, and decreased ionic conductivity.  By centering on developing solid-state electrolytes and organic, recyclable charge storage materials, the proposal will work to address these challenges and help improve future technological developments in batteries. This is particularly timely research to happen in North Carolina now, as recently announced lithium mining projects begin or reopen in the state.

Since starting, the Creativity Hubs program has yielded meaningful scientific progress, and contributed to extramural funding support to UNC-Chapel Hill exceeding $204 million and counting.  Finalists for this round will prepare full proposals and present their project ideas in the spring semester. The winning team(s) will then be eligible for up to $500,000 in continued funding from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) to execute their proposals over the next two years.  Creativity Hubs awardees receive proposal development assistance from the Office of Research Development to pursue large-scale, follow-on awards that build from the program’s funding.

Congratulations to the team for all their work so far!

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