2 October 2012 — Global real estate agency CBRE Group has launched the Real Green Research Challenge, a four-year commitment of  US$1 million  to fund leading-edge sustainability research in areas such as productivity studies, large-scale predictive modelling and energy efficiency technologies.

CBRE is now accepting submissions for research proposals, with the goal of developing solutions to the industry’s critical environmental challenges.

CBRE president Bob Sulentic said there had been growing market awareness of commercial buildings’ impact on the environment.

“This has inspired new thinking and innovation in sustainability research. However, people with good ideas often lack financial support and access to real-time market data and insight into building construction, occupancy and management that only a global firm like CBRE can provide.

“Our RGRC program will help to unleash innovation by connecting ideas with funding and with CBRE’s unparalleled information and people resources.”

Over the next four years, CBRE will award up to A$975,000 to fund independent academic research into sustainable real estate practices.

Selected applicants will receive up to $250,000 for basic research and implementation, with initial funding in February 2013. In addition to monetary funds, RGRC-funded projects will have access to CBRE’s global market data and resources, which can help them to commercialise their ideas.

Tom Southern

CBRE Australia and New Zealand president and chief executive officer Tom Southern said the Australian market would appreciate the Real Green Research Challenge.

“It’s the industry’s first funding mechanism that supports research, innovation and collaboration of sustainability practices on a global scale.

“We hope that the next great idea comes from a local Australian researcher and can create a meaningful impact in future sustainable commercial real estate practices.”

CBRE has assembled a panel of internal and external global experts and thought-leaders to evaluate research proposals.

The Climate Group chief executive officer Mark Kenber said commercial buildings could  generate serious environmental impacts for both current and future generations.

“However, smart research and innovation can significantly reduce these impacts.”

Submissions for research projects will be accepted until 31 December, 2012.