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Advanced Materials

A major thrust of the scientific and technological progress within energy, construction, transportation, communication, environment, electronics, etc., is bound to the development of new, advanced materials with special, and often unique, properties. New materials are the backbone in modern society and indispensable e.g. for attaining sustainability in various contexts. Solutions to some of the greatest challenges faced by humanity such as sustainable energy, climate change, water quality and food supplies are intimately connected to breakthroughs within materials research. Since these topics have extremely strong universal attention, there is a world-wide prioritization of research funding towards materials research. It is therefore important that ST has a large, visible research center at the highest international level, which is able to apply for, pursue, and define, research projects within materials research.

Materials research is intrinsically broad and highly interdisciplinary.  The problems are complex involving inorganic and organic systems found in nature and synthesized under controlled laboratory conditions.  Advances require near-seamless transfer of new discoveries made through basic research to industrial applications and solutions to critical societal problems. Thus, materials research commonly lies at interfaces between the physical and life sciences, and engineering and computational science, and necessitates an infrastructure and work environment that fosters and rewards cross-disciplinary collaboration. iMAT’s chief aim is to develop and support such an incubator for crosscutting materials research at AU.