The President of University at Buffalo, Satish K. Tripathi, has presented a proposal for the establishment of a state Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics to the governor's office and the New York State Legislature. The designation will help UB to acquire federal funding and new faculty.
The U.S. is facing a dearth of advanced materials for energy, medical, clean tech and automotive industries. These materials can help manufacture fuel-efficient vehicles, lighter prosthetic limbs, batteries with longer life for medical devices, flat-screen TVs and Kevlar fibers vests. Presently, new advanced materials take more than 20 years to move from the research to the commercialization stage.
Regional manufacturers will also benefit from the Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics in terms of new jobs. Such a center will leverage the research strengths, informatics and supercomputing infrastructure at UB. It will help discover, develop and commercialize synthetic replacements for scarce elements and other new materials. Companies collaborating with UB will have access to the center’s databases, which will help them develop products more rapidly.
The new UB center will utilize data-intensive computing and modern robotics technology. It already has a high-performance supercomputing facility – the Center for Computational Research. This will help increase the speed of discovery and development of advanced materials. The Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics will have the capacity to simultaneously synthesize and test hundreds of materials.
Biologists use genomic research, computation and high-throughput technologies for discovery of new drugs. The Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics will utilize similar techniques and induce new research in the medical and biomedical engineering fields.
The center aims to develop rainbow-colored polymers for converting cell phones as imaging tools, eco-friendly alloys for solar panels and a coating compound for energy-efficient smart windows.
Potential state funding for the Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics will help acquire new lab equipment and a new facility.