The University at Buffalo will receive a state designation for a Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics, and will be awarded $200,000 in funding to establish the center. The designation and funding for the center will be included in 2012-13 state budget.
UB's New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics will use robotics and data-intensive computing technology to focus on discovery and commercialization of innovative new materials, including synthetic replacements for natural elements that are growing scarcer.
With the creation of the center, UB will be positioned nationally to hire additional faculty and pursue federal funding opportunities in this emerging and high-demand field. With the funding, UB will begin cultivating industrial partners and planning for the center's facilities.
The center will foster increased collaboration between the university and industry, giving Western New York companies a competitive advantage and potentially creating thousands of jobs.
Says UB President Satish K Tripathi, "Building on UB's notable strengths in computing, materials science and engineering, the Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics will establish UB as a renowned leader in the emerging, high-impact field of combinatorial materials science and engineering--a rapidly growing field that responds to a wide range of critical societal needs, from the depletion of natural resources to the growing need for new technologies in the energy, medicine, defense and other industries."
Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, co-chair of the Joint Budget Conference Committee on Economic Development, said creation of a Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics will set the stage for UB to play a significant role in addressing the global crisis in the availability of rare earth elements.
"This new Center of Excellence will help put New York State at the forefront of restoring and growing the United States' competitive advantage in advanced manufacturing, as well as improve health and wellness through biomedical engineering applications, create sustainable energy solutions and enhance national security through high-tech military applications," Schimminger said. "To me, this was a no-brainer, and I am very pleased that the Assembly very quickly and solidly stepped up to the plate for UB."
The new UB center is expected to change the way materials research is conducted, speeding the discovery and deployment of advanced materials. Specifically, the center would make it possible for researchers to synthesize and test the properties of hundreds of materials at once, as opposed to one at a time.
The center's databases, a library of practical information, will be mined by companies and entrepreneurs partnering with UB to develop new products quickly and efficiently. Through university innovation and industry collaboration, the center has substantial potential for job creation and economic growth.