Strategic Collaborations

The Institute for Materials continually seeks partners within industry, government, and other academic institutions, both nationally and internationally to expand the impact of Georgia Tech materials research and education.  Our combination of talented faculty & students, world-class facilities, and a collaborative interdisciplinary spirit create a materials innovation ecosystem that adds significant value and offers industry, and others, an ability to enter into rapid-reaction ideation discussions to understand and match their needs with Tech’s capabilities.

Given the breadth of materials research activities, Georgia Tech’s unique Contract Continuum offers a means to engage industry over a broad spectrum of basic to applied research. Emphasis is placed on addressing long term strategic needs of mutual benefit, often pursued in collaboration with other Georgia Tech Interdisciplinary Research Institutes in energy, manufacturing, electronics and nanotechnology, just to name a few. In addition to OEMs, startups and materials supply chain companies (e.g., automotive and aerospace) are of high strategic importance to the state and regional economies.  Master research agreements are available as a means of streamlining multiple research project agreements with a given partner. 

Collaborations with national laboratories and other academic partners are tremendously beneficial by promoting student internships, granting access to user facilities, extending research capabilities and pursuing cooperative goals in both national and international networks to enhance the impact in materials discovery and development.

Materials Accelerator Network and the MGI

The U.S. Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) represents a broad initiative that engages industry, government and university stakeholders to further develop and provide access to computational tools, experimental capabilities and digital data elements to foster a distributed materials innovation infrastructure that will accelerate the discovery and development of materials, with the objective of reducing the time and cost of inserting new and improved materials into products.  Emphasis is placed on high-throughput tools and strategies, and “closing the loop” between experiments, modeling and simulation, and data sciences and informatics. By doing so the MGI promotes concurrency of early stage R&D with considerations of certification, manufacturability, and long-term service requirements for materials systems.

A June 5-6, 2014, workshop held at Georgia Tech, was co-organized by the IMat, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the University of Michigan. The event served as a platform to initiate a national dialogue that resulted in the founding of a collaborative Materials Innovation Ecosystem.

High priority recommendations, as described in the workshop report, include:

• Focus on education and training of the future MGI workforce;

• Compile a knowledge base of existing federally funded MGI-related efforts

• Link physical and cyber infrastructure that cuts across material classes & application domains;

• Establish working groups and networks in and across these domains;

• Define effective foundational engineering problems for each application domain to rally MGI stakeholder collaboration and networking; and

• Establish distributed materials information infrastructure.