UB Proposes New State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics
Advanced materials are everywhere in our daily lives, from the fibers in Kevlar vests to the indium alloys in flat-screen TVs. New materials can help U.S. companies make lighter prosthetic limbs, cars that use less fuel and longer-lasting batteries for medical devices like pacemakers.
In a proposal to New York State officials, UB President Satish K. Tripathi explained that there is a shortage of advanced materials in the U.S. for new technologies in energy, automotive, clean tech, medical and other industries. Tripathi proposed to the New York State Legislature and the governor’s office that a state Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics be designated at the University at Buffalo.
The new center will help solve this problem, accelerating the discovery and commercialization of innovative new materials, including synthetic replacements for elements that are growing scarcer. This would foster increased industry collaboration, giving Western New York companies a competitive advantage and potentially creating thousands of jobs.
“This is the perfect illustration of our successful ‘strategic strengths’ paradigm in action—high-impact faculty research and collaboration at the intersection of key fields,” said Tripathi. “It is exactly at this crossroads that our faculty members are working to develop innovative solutions for the critical challenges facing our society today.”
Tripathi noted that the UB proposal is aligned with state economic development strategies, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council and $1 billion investment in Buffalo.
The UB Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics would use the latest robotics and data-intensive computing technology. 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.