The University of California, Berkeley announced today that Ashok Gadgil, leader of the Environmental Energy Technologies Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), will lead the new Development Impact Laboratory (DIL). Gadgil is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley.
The United States Agency for International Development is funding DIL with up to $20 million under its new Higher Education Solutions Network. HESN’s purpose is to apply science and technology to solve key problems in health, food security, chronic conflict, and other global needs. UC Berkeley’s DIL will be one of a network of labs funded by USAID at seven universities to conduct this research. In total, the universities participating in HESN will receive up to $130 million over five years to fund the research.
“DIL is a truly exciting opportunity to bring world class science and technology innovation to bear on some of the most difficult problems of international development in poor societies,” says Gadgil. “We are thrilled to be selected by USAID to be part of this exclusive group, from close to 500 applicant-teams. Our selection also indicate how well our proposal aligns with the vision of the Science and Technology team at USAID seeking to undertake development work in new ways.”
Berkeley Lab’s LBNL Institute for Globally Transformative Technologies (LIGTT) will participate in the work of DIL, partnering with them in areas where LIGTT is performing research, including health, water and sanitation, and urban poverty.
Institutional members of the DIL include UC San Diego, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Makerere University in Uganda, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (India), University of Washington, University of Michigan and Portland State University
Several Berkeley faculty members will play key roles in the DIL project. Professor Shankar Sastry, dean of college of engineering, will serve as its chief scientist. Professors Eric Brewer (EECS), Daniel Fletcher (Bioengineering), Edward Miguel (Economics), and Ananya Roy (City and Regional Planning) also have significant major roles in the DIL project.