Professor Howard Chong receives Academic Venture Fund award to fund sustainability research

Jun 24, 2015

Contact: Mike Webb, 607.255.0426,

Professor Howard Chong receives Academic Venture Fund award to fund sustainability research on home retrofits

Ithaca, NY, June 24, 2015 - Howard Chong, assistant professor of services marketing at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration (SHA), is the principal investigator behind one of eleven projects chosen as Academic Venture Fund (AVF) award recipients for 2015.

Chong's project—"Real Savings from Home Retrofits"—seeks to compile real-world data on energy savings achieved by retrofitting homes, and is a collaboration with Albert George, John F. Carr Professor of Mechanical Engineering in Cornell's Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

The AVF is administered by Cornell's Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future (ACSF) and is ACSF's incubator for the next generation of sustainable solutions. The AVF seeds original, multidisciplinary research that is not likely to find funding elsewhere because the projects are novel, risky, need early data to establish traction, or involve new teams working together. The projects have real potential to involve external partners in industry, government, and nongovernmental organizations.

The AVF has been awarded annually since ACSF was founded in 2008, crossing the $1-million-in-total-awards threshold each of the last two years. Recipients are selected through a competitive process, with 30 to 40 candidate projects typically whittled to five to twelve winners each year. This year's eleven winners were chosen from a field of 37 entrants.

"Our project aims to quantify the real-world energy-savings impact of home retrofits, so homeowners can be armed with practical data and make more informed decisions," said Chong. "It is our hope that we can help promote not only the principles of sustainability, but also the bottom-line benefits. By selecting us for an Academic Venture Fund award, the Atkinson Center has given us the resources to realize this ambitious project. Cornell and SHA share a commitment to sustainability that makes this kind of research possible."

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The Academic Venture Fund is supported by generous contributions from David and Patricia Atkinson, Kathleen Marble, David Drinkwater, and other donors.

About the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University
The School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University is shaping the global knowledge base for hospitality management through leadership in education, research, and industry advancement. Accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the school provides management instruction in the full range of hospitality disciplines, educating the next generation of leaders in the world's largest industry. Founded in 1922 as the nation's first collegiate course of study in hospitality management, the Cornell School of Hotel Administration is recognized as the world leader in its field. For more information, visit