BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Western New York legislative delegation
informed University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi today
that UB will receive a state designation for a Center of Excellence
in Materials Informatics, and will be awarded $200,000 in seed
funding toward the establishment of the center.
The designation and funding for the center will be included in
2012-13 state budget.
UB's New York State Center of Excellence in Materials
Informatics will use robotics and data-intensive computing
technology to focus on discovery and commercialization of
innovative new materials, including synthetic replacements for
natural elements that are growing scarcer.
With the creation of the center, UB will be positioned
nationally to hire additional faculty and pursue federal funding
opportunities in this emerging and high-demand field. With the
funding, UB will begin cultivating industrial partners and planning
for the center's facilities.
The center will foster increased collaboration between the
university and industry, giving Western New York companies a
competitive advantage and potentially creating thousands of
"This outstanding development has come about thanks in large
part to the advocacy of Assemblyman Robin Schimminger and Senators
George Maziarz and Mark Grisanti, with the support of the entire
Western New York delegation," Tripathi said.
"Building on UB's notable strengths in computing, materials
science and engineering, the Center of Excellence in Materials
Informatics will establish UB as a renowned leader in the emerging,
high-impact field of combinatorial materials science and
engineering--a rapidly growing field that responds to a wide range
of critical societal needs, from the depletion of natural resources
to the growing need for new technologies in the energy, medicine,
defense and other industries."
Schimminger, co-chair of the Joint Budget Conference Committee
on Economic Development, said creation of a Center of Excellence in
Materials Informatics will set the stage for UB to play a
significant role in addressing the global crisis in the
availability of rare earth elements.
"This new Center of Excellence will help put New York State at
the forefront of restoring and growing the United States'
competitive advantage in advanced manufacturing, as well as improve
health and wellness through biomedical engineering applications,
create sustainable energy solutions and enhance national security
through high-tech military applications," Schimminger said. "To me,
this was a no-brainer, and I am very pleased that the Assembly very
quickly and solidly stepped up to the plate for UB."
Maziarz, chair of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications
Committee, said "there are so many practical applications for this
new Center of Excellence that I know will not only attract
businesses to the region, but will be of benefit to existing
companies in Western New York already doing work in this field. The
economic potential of this center is enormous and I was happy to
lead the effort to get UB this designation."
Grisanti, who also helped lead the effort in the Senate for UB's
designation, said: "When I first heard about this idea, I knew it
was one that would have a lasting positive impact on our region. I
was happy to push for this in the Senate and I look forward to
working with UB to realize the tremendous potential of this
Sen. Charles E. Schumer has offered to help UB pursue federal
funding opportunities for the new center, and he has urged the
Obama administration's Office of Science and Technology to partner
with UB in the development of synthetic substitutes for natural
materials, like rare earth elements, that are critical to the
growth of high-tech businesses and manufacturers.
The new UB center will change the way materials research is
conducted, speeding the discovery and deployment of advanced
materials. Specifically, the center would make it possible for
researchers to synthesize and test the properties of hundreds of
materials at once, as opposed to one at a time.
The center's databases, a library of practical information, will
be mined by companies and entrepreneurs partnering with UB to
develop new products quickly and efficiently. Through university
innovation and industry collaboration, the center has substantial
potential for job creation and economic growth.
Alexander N. Cartwright, PhD, UB vice president for research and
economic development, said UB is well-positioned to establish a
Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics. He noted that:
* UB's existing research strengths and infrastructure align with
advanced materials research.
* Through seven years of strategic hiring, UB has built a core
group of more than 50 scientists focused on materials synthesis,
materials characterization and the integration of new materials in
* As a testament to the quality of these faculty members, many
have won the National Science Foundation's prestigious CAREER
* The New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics and
Life Sciences at UB houses a world-class computing center.
Leveraging this resource will be critical to supporting the
intensive computation and data mining required by materials
* The university and its researchers have strong relationships
with industry and government partners, many of whom have strategic
interests in advanced materials.