The Materials and Manufacturing for Sustainability Discovery Theme focus area is an Institute for Materials Research-coordinated, university-wide program that was one of seven proposals selected for funding through Ohio State’s Discovery Themes Initiative.

The M&MS focus area will enable Ohio State to become pre-eminent in the field of advanced materials for sustainability by building on existing interdisciplinary strengths in materials, world-class facilities, and nationally-recognized centers of excellence, and by exploiting both industrial consortia and recent strategic investments that will enable an academically driven discovery-to-deployment paradigm. 

Faculty will be hired in three general technology clusters with almost all being joint appointments between multiple departments: energy harvesting, storage and systems; high performance materials and structures; and materials for sustainable information processing, supported by hiring in business, policy and global awareness.  A critical element of M&MS is that stakeholders will engage within a Materials Innovation Greenhouse (MIG) that will serve as an innovation collaboratory, connecting science to technology to industry, with a scope that is regional, national and global, through the development of expansive partnerships.

The M&MS plan will ultimately establish an innovation ecosystem within which research can be converted into deployable products enabling a path toward global sustainability. Examples could include affordable solar photovoltaics, biocomposite structures, buildings from sustainable materials, energy-efficient power systems, non-degrading components, ultra-light vehicles and improved urban mining.  While hiring the right faculty hiring is certainly central, establishing the MIG with exceptionally skilled “technology integrators” who can enable the innovation collaborations needed between small and large companies, faculty and students in an open innovation ecosystem is essential.  We expect to coordinate MIG development with the existing Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) so innovation and deployment components can be accelerated.


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