The P3 program is a competition, wherein universities throughout the country, 38 this year, receive phase one funding to develop their projects and showcase them at the National Sustainable Design Expo. The EPA will then select some teams to compete in the second phase and further their design development with a grant of up to $75,000.
The UNC team, which is lead by Mark D. Sobsey, aims to create a portable cholera test that will allow for simple, low-cost and self-contained testing of drinking water. The students plan to use their funding from the EPA to build upon an existing compartment bag test (CBT) that is used to detect E. coli bacteria. Cholera, caused by V. cholera, threaten 1.4 billion people worldwide and is best controlled by quick detection.
“This year’s P3 teams have created innovative research projects that tackle some of our most pressing environmental and public health challenges,” EPA Science Advisor and Office of Research and Development Deputy Assistant Administrator Dr. Thomas A. Burke said. “These students have the opportunity to bring their exciting new ideas for innovation in sustainability to life, by expanding their learning experience beyond the classroom.”