Why You'll Only Have to Wait Half as Long for the Materials of the Future

Illustration for article titled Why Youll Only Have to Wait Half as Long for the Materials of the Future

Those rechargable batteries in your phone took well over two decades to develop—way too slow in today's global economy. So, the US government has introduced the Materials Genome Initiative and cut the development time of new materials in half.

The Materials Genome Initiative aims to "to develop an infrastructure to accelerate advanced materials discovery and deployment in the United States" by, in part, implementing virtual experimentation rather than using traditional and slower trial-and-error methods. It also calls for improved IT infrastructure in order to more efficiently share engineering data and models among researchers as well as streamlines the current seven-stage commercialization process. It even suggests finding alternatives to rare elements like platinum, tellurium, and certain rare earth elements deemed "critical" to national security or the economy.

The plan aims to have these new materials hitting shelves and returning the US to competitiveness in the global materials markets within a decade. The White House is backing up these ambitious calls with a $100 million Advanced Manufacturing Partnership designed to smooth the path from concept to final product. [White House via FastCo - image courtesy JSmith_Photo via Flikr]


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Don't private companies develop these things for profit on their own? I would think the private market, being competitive, should take care of this on their own. You know, the old competition model. Why should the government get involved unless they think they can do better, which I doubt. And as for sharing data, the internet is for that. It already exists.