The National Science Foundation has announced six new Science and Technology Centers (STC) and among them is the NSF Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability Center (STEPS).
STEPS is a CONVERGENCE RESEARCH CENTER, integrating over 28 disciplines – from materials science to environmental engineering and plant science to economics and social science, to create new materials, technologies, and practices to CAPTURE, RECOVER, and REUSE PHOSPHORUS from surface waters, wastewater, manure, and soils.
The STEPS vision is to facilitate a 25% reduction in human dependence on mined phosphates and a 25% reduction in losses of point and non-point sources of phosphorus to soils and water resources within 25 years, leading to enhanced resilience of food systems and reduced environmental damage. STEPS is also committed to diversity and inclusion with a goal to have a diverse and inclusive Center that mirrors the population of the United States.
STEPS is a joint effort between NC State University and 8 partner institutions: Arizona State University; University of Florida; RTI International; Appalachian State University; Marquette University; University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; North Carolina A&T State University; and UNC Greensboro. The center will receive $25M USD over five years, which can be renewed for an additional five years.
Professor Jacob Jones will serve as the Center Director. Others in the leadership team consist of Paul Westerhoff (Arizona State University) and Ross Sozzani (NC State University), who will serve alongside Jacob Jones as co-Deputy Directors.
To learn more about STEPS, please visit their website at https://steps-center.org/