A Strategy to Accelerate Cutting-Edge Materials Innovation
Posted by Meredith Drosback & Cyrus Wadia on December 04, 2014 at 10:05 AM EST
In 2011, President Obama launched a Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), a broad, cross-sector effort to work toward doubling the pace of advanced materials discovery, innovation, manufacture, and commercialization in the United States.
Three years later, the MGI has grown into a robust, wide-reaching endeavor that spans six Federal agencies, with over $400 million committed to-date for ground-breaking research investments with partners across industry and academia. The foundation of the MGI vision and early investments have already led to the public release of materials data, creation of new research institutes focused on research and development aligned with MGI, and the development of educational opportunities to train students in materials innovation through new courses and degree programs.
Today, in an important milestone for the initiative, the interagency National Science and Technology Council released the Materials Genome Initiative Strategic Plan - a roadmap developed with input from a diverse array of stakeholders across the materials science and engineering community, which outlines how Federal agencies will execute on the MGI's vision of decreasing the time and cost of bringing new materials from discovery to market.
The Plan identifies four key areas of opportunity:
- Leading a culture shift in materials research to encourage and facilitate an integrated team approach;
- Integrating experiment, computation, and theory and equip the materials community with advanced tools and techniques;
- Making digital data accessible; and
- Creating a world-class materials science and engineering workforce that is trained for twenty-first century careers.
In addition, the plan includes twenty-two milestones marking concrete actions that the Federal agencies will take to help get the job done-including striving to increase the number of researchers who participate in MGI-related projects by 50 percent by 2017.
The launch of this new strategic plan is an opportunity for the materials-science community to engage, build new collaborations, and coalesce around the principles of MGI in concrete ways that make a difference.
Read the new Strategic Plan here.
Meredith Drosback is an AAAS Fellow at OSTP and Cyrus Wadia is Assistant Director for Clean Energy and Materials R&D at OSTP.