The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will award five grants totaling about $2m to academic institutions for research on improvement to air quality in the country and help track the effectiveness of pollution control measures.

The academic institutions receiving the grants include University at Albany-SUNY, University of Texas, Georgia Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University-Kingsville and University of North Carolina.

These grants are part of EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program and will focus on developing better data and tools to promote informed decision making by the regulatory authorities ensuring better air quality.

EPA deputy assistant administrator at office of research and development Bob Kavlock said that the grants will help improve response to short-term air pollution issues.

"These grants will encourage innovative solutions for incorporating new information, technology advances, and current scientific understanding into air quality management," added Kavlock.