Case Western Reserve University has received a grant of $2 million from the Maltz Family Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland to establish the Milton and Tamar Maltz Professorship in Energy Innovation, the university's first endowed professorship in energy. As an anchor of the new Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation, the professorship serves as the cornerstone for the university's energy program and will provide leadership for the program's academic and research nucleus.
The grant also builds substantially on recent startup funding by the Cleveland Foundation, which provided $3.6 million in December 2007 to support the creation of the Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation. The institute is a multidisciplinary center led by researchers at the Case School of Engineering and utilizes the rich resources and expertise of all the graduate and professional schools at Case Western Reserve University. The institute is based on strategic partnerships and alliances with industry, government labs and other universities across the state and nation, exploring economic development and technology transfer in emerging fields such as renewable power, storage and efficiency.
"The awarding of this grant is a statement in support of Case Western Reserve University and its efforts in energy innovation," said Stephen H. Hoffman, president of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland. "We are pleased to help the university build on the momentum provided initially by the Cleveland Foundation's grant. Our interest in energy conservation is rooted in a sincere concern for protecting our natural resources and fostering more energy independence for our country. We can do this, in part, through technology breakthroughs, policy and cultural changes, and significant investments such as the Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation."
The Maltz Family Foundation grant advances the Case School of Engineering's efforts to recruit a prominent, internationally-recognized leader from key energy-related disciplines to the institute while the Cleveland Foundation's recent support is funding startup costs and general programming for new senior faculty members and for an executive director. The executive director will be the institute's bridge between the researchers and local, regional and international industry. The university has also committed to hiring two junior faculty members to augment the core senior faculty group.
"This major contribution from the Maltz Family Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland is a tremendous next step in building on the Cleveland Foundation's initial investment in the Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation," said Ronald B. Richard, president and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. "We are delighted that one of Cleveland's most prominent funders joins us in recognizing Case Western Reserve University's leadership in energy and the institute's potential to expand scientific and economic development for the entire region."
The institute builds on three primary areas of activity: research and development; economic development; and education (including K-12 science, technology, engineering and math programs and community college initiatives).
The core areas of renewable power, storage and efficiency will allow the Great Lakes Institute for Energy Innovation and Case Western Reserve University to do more than develop alternative energy. Designed to educate the next generation of engineers and scientists to better manage existing and emerging energy resources, the institute's mission is to evolve solutions for today's energy demands while developing farsighted energy research and energy-use strategies for tomorrow's applications.
"I am grateful to the Maltz Family Foundation of the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland for its generous support of the university's efforts to develop the technology and infrastructure necessary to transition to other energy sources," said Case Western Reserve University President Barbara R. Snyder. "The foresight of such community leaders as Milton, Tamar and David Maltz, Steve Hoffman and Ronn Richard of the Cleveland Foundation, along with Cleveland's manufacturing infrastructure, ready labor force and our groundbreaking energy innovation research will allow this region to emerge as a national leader in sustainable energy research, technology development and industry."