Critical Materials Institute User Facility: No

Visit Facility  

CMI is a public/private partnership led by Ames Laboratory that brings together the best and brightest research minds from universities, national laboratories, and the private sector to find innovative technology solutions that will help avoid a materials supply shortage that would threaten our clean energy industry as well as our security interests. Many materials deemed critical by the U.S. Department of Energy are used in modern clean energy technologies, including wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and energy-efficient lighting.

The purpose of CMI is to help the United States in four key areas:

  • Diversifying supplies. If one source goes offline, we can rely on production from a different source.
  • Developing substitute materials that can meet needs without using the materials we use today.
  • Using the available materials more efficiently: reducing waste in manufacturing processes, and increasing recycling for a circular economy.
  • Delivering enabling capabilities: Having tools to accelerate discovery and inform what materials might become critical in the future.

The Institute’s industrial collaborators work to incorporate CMI innovations in their products and processes, across the areas described above – source diversification, materials substitution, and improved stewardship of existing resources. Opportunities for industrial partners to engage with CMI include:

  • CMI Affiliates: CMI Affiliates attend CMI meetings, are informed about CMI research outcomes, and provide input to CMI. Affiliates pay an annual fee based on the organization type, and sign a Membership Agreement. CMI Affiliates may become CMI Team members or sponsor research in other ways with different levels of financial commitment and ownership of intellectual property.
  • CMI Team Member: CMI Team members participate in CMI research through research subcontracts or provision of cost sharing funds. Requirements include specific research project deliverables within the entity's areas of expertise, an agreed scope of work with negotiated budget, including cost-share as applicable, as approved by the CMI Director.
Read More