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How the Elsevier Foundation partnerships support sustainable development

Posted on July 7th, 2021 by in Chemistry

OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World award winners

Each year, the Elsevier Foundation gives over $1 million to an array of non-profit organizations. This support has gone to promising collaborations, STEM initiatives, leadership programs, technology platforms, early to mid-career scholars and more.

The Foundation has made a special point of aligning its efforts with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a collection of 17 priorities that form an international call to action to ensure health, safety, education, justice, economic growth and equality for all people across the globe. In particular, the Elsevier Foundation has been concentrating on projects that address SDG5 (Gender Equality) and SDG13 (Climate Action). This effort contributes to Elsevier’s sustainability program, highlighted in the latest report The Power of Data to Advance the SDGs – offering unique insights and initiatives, many developed together with partners, to map the state of research within the SDGs.   

Many of the Elsevier Foundation’s grants have gone to programs that have a mission to help women advance in the sciences. A particularly notable ongoing effort that recognizes women scientists is the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early-Career Women Scientists in the Developing World – which has been celebrating the achievements of women researchers since 2011. The awards specifically highlight the accomplishments of women who have overcome the additional hurdles – such as low resource, low visibility, family responsibilities and more – that often come with pursuing scientific careers in developing countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, East and South-East Asia and the Pacific, Central and South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

“We know how important recognition and professional visibility are for developing high-profile international scientific careers,” said Ylann Schemm, Director of the Elsevier Foundation. “Over the years, we have also found that introducing our award winners to the AAAS Forum has given them vital access to international networks and scientific dialogue, while opening doors to new opportunities.”

Another signature initiative from the Elsevier Foundation is the Chemistry for Climate Action Challenge, which is open to both individuals and organizations working on projects that use green and sustainable chemistry solutions to take on the biggest sustainability challenges facing the developing world.   

There is no time to lose when it comes to tackling climate change, and Elsevier understands that chemists have a vital role in many aspects of the fight. CO2 reduction, energy conversion and storage, and greener manufacturing processes are just a few ways that the chemical sciences can be utilized to address climate issues. The Challenge, which rewards each winning project with a €25,000 prize, encourages scientists to find innovative chemistry solutions to climate problems.

The Chemistry for Climate Action Challenge also incorporates the SDG on Gender Equality by underscoring that submitted projects need to have a gender dimension (e.g. addressing the role of women in policy-making or leadership).

“We believe that this is the optimum moment to build on Elsevier’s growing climate action focus and research and analytics contributions to launch this new iteration of the Challenge,” Schemm explained. “Critically, it will reflect a strong gender focus given the disproportionate impact of climate change on women.”

Submissions are currently open for the Chemistry for Climate Action Challenge, so if you have a project that focuses on sustainability, you may want to enter! Click here to learn more.

The Elsevier Foundation is part of Elsevier’s corporate responsibility and sustainability program, along with a number of unique contributions dedicated to sustainable development.

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