Obama Administration begins push to help develop new materials

President Obama's Materials Genome Initiative gets a boost from a White House effort to put leaders from industry, academia, national labs and government behind the materials development program.

The Obama Administraiton on May 14 hosted a White House event where leaders from industry, academia, national labs and government announced more than a dozen new commitments to advance the Administration’s Materials Genome Initiative — a challenge to double the speed and cut the cost of discovering, developing and deploying new high-tech materials in the United States.

President Obama announced the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) in June 2011 as part of a broader effort to create new jobs, solve societal challenges and enhance America’s global competitiveness by bolstering the U.S. advanced manufacturing enterprise. 

“The invention of silicon circuits and lithium-ion batteries made computers and iPods and iPads possible, but it took years to get those technologies from the drawing board to the market place,” the President said when he announced the Initiative, at Carnegie Mellon University. “We can do it faster.”

The May 14 White House workshop, attended by more than 170 leaders from the public and private sectors, aims to further galvanize that effort. Some of the key announcements made include:

  • Pledges by more than 60 companies and universities to advance the President’s Materials Genome Initiative through their business, research and education practices.
  • Oak Ridge, Argonne and Lawrence Berkeley National Labs announced a new Joint Materials Genome Institute (JMGI) for accelerated discovery and design of advanced materials.
  • Harvard University will leverage IBM’s World Community Grid and, in collaboration with Wolfram Research, committs to openly disclose the properties of 7 million newly discovered molecules.
  • Autodesk is committed to making technology and a library of 8,000 materials available to the education community, which will complement their open access education modules in advanced materials.
  • Ten Federal agencies that participate in the National Nanotechnology Initiative unveiled a new “signature initiative” to stimulate the development of models, simulation tools and databases that will enable the prediction of specific characteristics of nanoscale materials.

These and the other new commitments add to previously announced Administration investments spanning nine federal programs.

Click here to download information about the Materials Genome Intiative.