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In 2006, Arizona State University was selected as a National Center for Excellence (NCE) on SMART Innovations, which focuses on business, technology and policy innovations related to climate change and energy.

Unlike traditional research programs, the NCE at ASU is a transdisciplinary cluster of researchers and scholars who work together on solutions that encompass technical, social, economic and regulatory factors. NCE is administered by the Institute, and it includes participants from the School of Sustainability, Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering, College of Design, W.P. Carey School of Business and College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Core areas of research and project activity are:

  • Business Innovations - Including life cycle analysis of products, sustainable indexing and labeling schemes, engineered product innovations to improve the sustainability index and organizational strategies for different global markets throughout the supply chain.
  • Technology and Material Innovations - Research teams are working on a new generation of energy-producing products ranging from nanoparticles for solar-thermal appliances, a new generation of surface treatments that control temperatures of built environment structures, more sustainable consumer products and alternatives to conventional building materials.
  • Policy Innovations - As regional and national governments seek effective ways to address climatic and energy impacts for our rapidly urbanizing planet there exists a need for sound science and engineering support that bridge the needs of industry with those of public welfare. Researchers at the National Center of Excellence use an array of models, observations and experimentation to quantify risks to human health, security, economy and environment from current approaches to regulatory frameworks. Through this fundamental research we are able to then develop innovative alternatives for adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Global Industrial partners of the National Center of Excellence include Dial Corp, Henkel, Intel, CEMEX, Raytheon, Ford Motor Company, AT&T and the Asphalt Institute. Governmental partners include the United Nations Environment Programme, US Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Energy, NASA, as well as the cities of London, Beijing, Seoul, Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, Houston , Maricopa County and King County Washington.



US Environmental Protection Agency


June 2006 — Ongoing