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An environmental engineer collects air samples looking for traces of a toxic chemical outside a Morrisville home. Toxicologists study small creeks and streams in search of those chemicals in the Cape Fear River Basin. A team of chemists and environmental engineers develop a filtration system designed to remove those same chemicals from water.

Separately, these projects represent exciting new findings that offer benefits to their respective fields. Together, their combined research results in the tangible benefit of clean drinking water for over 1.5 million North Carolinians. This is the core philosophy underpinning convergent science, an emerging approach to innovation that seeks solutions through broad, “big-picture” thinking at the intersection of multiple disciplines.

Convergent science is characterized by cross-disciplinary research teams created to tackle big problems and speed the application of new breakthroughs to commercialization. At UNC, the Institute for Convergent Science is at the forefront of this pioneering framework. Story by Endeavors.

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