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BASF launches advanced materials research initiative with Harvard, MIT and UMass; focus on automotive, energy, and building and construction

8 March 2013

BASF SE has launched the “North American Center for Research on Advanced Materials—a research collaboration with Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Amherst. One goal of this initiative is jointly to develop new materials for the automotive, building and construction, and energy industries.

The cooperation is initially planned for five years. About 20 new post-doctoral positions will be created at the three universities.

Scientists from disciplines such as chemistry, physics and biology and engineers with know-how in different industries will work together in this research initiative. The academic partners contribute not only their expertise in material sciences, modeling and formulation methods, but also provide new ideas for interesting research approaches.

Besides fundamental scientific knowledge, BASF researchers will contribute the necessary experience in transforming research results into technically feasible processes and products and input about which materials are needed in the different industries and applications.

The ideas and topics to be researched will be decided jointly by the researchers participating in the initiative. Topics already identified include micro- and nanostructured polymers with new properties, as well as biomimetic materials that emulate nature. For example, the scientists are working on lightweight construction materials for wind turbines and automotive construction and on new color effects for cosmetic applications.

The research scientists are supported and advised by a scientific committee that includes BASF scientists and George Whitesides, Ph.D. and Dave Weitz, Ph.D. of Harvard; Robert Langer, Ph.D. and Mary Boyce, Ph.D. of MIT, and Todd Emrick, Ph.D. and Alan Lesser, Ph.D. of UMass Amherst.

The American research initiative will build on the successful cooperation between BASF and Harvard University. During the five years’ cooperation to date, 13 academic research groups have been working together with BASF scientists.

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