A critical, enabling element of the Advance Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), announced by President Barack Obama on June 24, the Materials Genome Initiative is a multi-stakeholder effort to develop an infrastructure to accelerate materials discovery and deployment.
The President’s FY12 budget includes $100 million to launch the Materials Genome Initiative, with funding for the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The initiative will support the development of computational tools, software, new methods for material characterization, and the development of open standards and databases that will make the process of discovery and development of advanced materials faster, less expensive, and more predictable.
The vision and goals of the initiative are presented in the white paper, Materials Genome Initiative for Global Competiveness, published by the National Science and Technology Council. Central to its efforts is collaboration of all contributors in the materials development community in the up-front planning and execution—from experimental and theoretical scientists conducting basic research to industrial engineers qualifying new material products for market—and spanning academic institutions, small businesses, large industrial enterprises, professional societies, and government.
The investment of resources and commitment to the Materials Genome Initiative is expected to provide valuable, long-term returns on a number of levels, including:
- Lower-cost insertion of advanced materials into U.S. manufacturing
- Rapid deployment of materials solutions to meet national challenges
- Consolidation of scattered research and development efforts for a more cohesive, efficient approach to materials advancement
Specific goals for the Materials Genome Initiative focus on developing:
- Materials for national security, including high strength, lightweight alloys for transportation systems
- Materials for human health and welfare, including protective gear for increased safety
- Materials for clean energy systems, including synthetic materials that replicate photosynthesis
The Materials Genome Initiative represents a logical outgrowth of the 2008 study published by the National Research Council, Integrated Computational Materials Engineering: A Transformational Discipline for Improved Competitiveness and National Security. This report focused attention on the value of implementing Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) as a means to optimize materials, manufacturing processes, and component design long before fabrication begins. TMS provided input to and was cited in this study. Well before publication of the report, TMS had assumed an international leadership role supporting the development of this approach through the work of an array of technical committees and by developing information sources, publishing research, and organizing technical conferences. TMS will bring these strengths to bear to create the forums necessary to support the collaboration integral to the success of the Materials Genome Initiative.
Additional information on the Materials Genome Initiative is available at the Office of Science and Technology Policy website.