Lab Partnering Service Discovery
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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.
Ames Laboratory PSDF produces custom powder metals which cannot be purchased from commercial suppliers in small and pilot-scale powder batches for external parties through DOE‘s Strategic Partnership Projects. PSDF also can conduct assessments of powder submitted to the facility.
The Materials Preparation Center is a one-of-a-kind specialized research center. The MPC prepares, purifies, fabricates, and characterizes research-sized quantities of rare-earth, alkaline-earth, and refractory materials.
Established in 1981, the MPC gives scientists at university, industry, and government laboratories access to novel materials and new technologies as they are developed. Each year, the MPC satisfies hundreds of requests for customized materials and services not available from commercial suppliers and that are unmatched in quality anywhere else in the world. The MPC prepares research-quantity, pure metals and alloys in single and polycrystalline forms. The center also develops processing techniques required for special preparations of these metals and alloys and transfers new knowledge about materials-processing equipment.