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FOCUS AND OBJECTIVES

The investment focus is on environmental protection, dynamic water management for evolving agriculture and urban requirements including addressing environmental health risk management, and public services information system security. This last area includes information assurance, data integrity and cyber/physical risk analysis for both individual and distributed critical infrastructure operations. 


Our near-term objective is to organize and oversee an active network of academic institutions, private sector entities and select non-profit organizations with similar focus. That goal will be achieved through the identification and coordination of relevant leading-edge analytical, technical and operational capabilities. This effort is based on the deployment of a secure private cloud architecture which will enhance the ability of network members to access and exchange information on specific risk assessment and management approaches.

Our longer-term objective is to support the development of a distributed socio-economic environment able to effectively adapt to a range of evolving climate conditions and manage their impact through the selection and deployment of actionable and cost effective mitigation and sustainability solutions. 

Environmental Protection


The Foundation will identify, prioritize and fund advanced technologies and processes aimed at protecting the natural environment from both the primary and secondary impacts of climate change. Primary impacts of climate change include changes to ecosystem services caused by warming temperatures, sea level rise and shifting rainfall patterns and amounts. Secondary impacts include changes to water access and quality for agricultural, grazing, and urban land uses that in turn affect ecosystem services.

Improving Inefficiencies

Identify gaps in agricultural, livestock, and energy production practices where efficiency improvements would also advance environmental protection. Such inefficiencies are known to exist in water, pesticide and fertilizer use as well as in transportation.  

Data and Technology-Driven

Foster the increased utility of data, technologies and processes that will accelerate environmental protection efforts. This includes information technology areas such as machine and deep learning, geographic information systems (GIS) / remote sensing (RS), and high-performance cloud computing. This also includes technology areas such as materials science to improve energy use as well as microbial technologies to improve soil carbon storage. 

Using Market Forces

Identify opportunities for market forces to drive environmental protection efforts in the energy and agricultural sectors. Such opportunities will not only lead to enhancements in environmental protection but also sustainable economic growth in these areas. 

Water Management


Within this priority area, the Foundation seeks to identify, prioritize and fund advanced technologies and processes aimed at managing evolving threats. Those include environmental health risks and water supply and quality requirements while supporting and protecting the ability to meet evolving interdependencies between agricultural and urban demands. 

We are using approaches that dynamically integrate artificial intelligence, geospatial analytics, and real-time operations management technologies that enhance the reliability and quality of the water supply.

Identify...

...inefficiencies in the use of agricultural fertilizers to reduce nutrient runoff from agricultural lands, mitigating not only waste but also the eutrophication of lakes and oceans.

Improve...

...the capabilities of regional and global water models to enable assessment of the future availability of clean water, on a time scale of months to several years in advance.

Develop...

...the water, nutrient, and carbon storage capacity of agricultural and grazing soils to increase yield as well as to optimize the use of fresh water.

Public Services Safety and Security


The Foundation seeks to identify, prioritize, test and fund advanced technologies and processes aimed at maintaining critical infrastructure in an environment of evolving cyber-physical risks. Such critical infrastructure will be increasingly tested under conditions of geopolitical instability exacerbated by climate change-related impacts.

To this end, the Foundation is using its established network of academic institutions and private sector entities to focus on operational cyber security analysis and threat identification and mitigation. The initial focus is to provide small and mid-size water utilities (SMUs) with the ability to contract independent validation and verification (IV&V) assessments of operational system cyber processes and defenses. An integral part of the contractual agreement is to enhance their technical staff cyber threat awareness and mitigation training through close coordination with local academic institutions and select relevant private sector entities.  

Create

Create a network of academic-private partners that will initially focus on analyzing and strengthening the operational cyber security of small and medium size water utilities. 

Offer

Offer an Independent Validation and Verification (IV&V) capability performing the dynamic assessment of operational cyber vulnerabilities in the SCADA/ICS/IoT control systems of client SMUs. 

Provide

Provide independent, actionable and confidential operational cyber defense support. 

Deliver

Deliver timely analytical vulnerability assessments, threat prioritization and mitigation. 

Enhance

Enhance internal capabilities and robustness of client networks and system operations.