Graham Sustainability Institute

Dow Expands Sustainable Innovation Student Challenge Award with Nine New Universities Worldwide

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Dow Chemical Company recently announced the fourth annual Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award (SISCA) program is expanding to include nine new strategic universities across the globe. Developed in conjunction with Dow’s 2015 Sustainability Goals, SISCA drives collaboration and advancement in social and environmental responsibility by inspiring students to solve significant world challenges through sustainable solutions.


"In order to achieve a more sustainable future, it’s essential that we cultivate fresh ideas, innovative thinking and multidisciplinary learning among tomorrow’s leaders who will be the champions of change," said Neil Hawkins, Dow’s Vice President of Sustainability and Environment, Health & Safety. "SISCA harnesses the energy, commitment and enthusiasm of students to craft real-world solutions, while building a robust collaboration between industry and academia."

Participating universities are selected based on their academic excellence and a commitment to sustainability. The nine new universities are:

  • California Institute of Technology (U.S.)
  • Fudan University (China)
  • Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (Mexico)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (U.S.)
  • Penn State University (U.S.)
  • Shanghai Jiaotong (China)
  • Technische Universiteit Delft (The Netherlands)
  • Tsinghua University (China)
  • University of Minnesota (U.S.)

Returning for the 2012 program are the following universities:

  • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia)
  • Northwestern University (U.S.)
  • Peking University (China)
  • Tufts University (U.S.)
  • University of California, Berkeley (U.S.)
  • University of Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  • University of Michigan (U.S.)
  • University of São Paulo (Brazil)

Established in 2008, in its fourth year, SISCA has recognized winning concepts such as a third-party credit rewards program that enables cardholders to invest their points or airline miles in clean energy projects, and a water wheel allowing easier and faster transportation of potable water in underdeveloped nations.

Graduate students submit their research and projects and winners are selected in a peer-review process based on innovative thinking and excellence in research, a project’s potential for solving significant world challenges such as energy, water, housing or food and the interdisciplinary nature of their work. The students compete to win cash prizes for their innovative solutions to the world’s challenges.

The 2012 SISCA program will run from March to December, ending with an online collaboration event for student winners. For more information on The Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge Award, please visit

About Dow

Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines the power of science and technology to passionately innovate what is essential to human progress. The Company connects chemistry and innovation with the principles of sustainability to help address many of the world's most challenging problems such as the need for clean water, renewable energy generation and conservation, and increasing agricultural productivity. Dow's diversified industry-leading portfolio of specialty chemical, advanced materials, agrosciences and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of technology-based products and solutions to customers in approximately 160 countries and in high growth sectors such as electronics, water, energy, coatings and agriculture. In 2011, Dow had annual sales of $60 billion and employed approximately 52,000 people worldwide. The Company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 197 sites in 36 countries across the globe. References to "Dow" or the "Company" mean The Dow Chemical Company and its consolidated subsidiaries unless otherwise expressly noted. More information about Dow can be found at