At a virtual ceremony, the National Research Council Canada (NRC) opened a new advanced materials research facility in Mississauga, Ont.
The facility will serve as a national clean energy hub, supporting and undertaking foundational research of new materials for clean energy and other applications and transitioning them to industrial use. The building will bring companies, government, and universities together to collaborate on breakthrough projects in clean technologies and advanced materials.
The facility will be part of the Canadian Campus for Advanced Materials Manufacturing (CCAMM), a joint initiative between NRC and the Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC). This initiative will establish a suite of accessible platform technologies for substantially accelerating the rate of discovery of new materials for a range of applications, including clean energy and additive manufacturing.
As part of the ceremony, the NRC announced the Materials for Clean Fuels Challenge program will be housed at the research facility. This seven-year, $57-million collaborative research program focusses on the development of new materials to be used in the production of clean and sustainable energy.
The NRC Mississauga research facility will focus on:
- technologies for accelerating discovery and innovation in new materials, most prominently artificial intelligence (AI)-driven robotics experimental platforms termed ‘Material Acceleration Platforms’ or self-driven labs—the initial focal areas of application will include materials enabling the conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2) to fuels and other high-value industrial products, multi-functional powders, and nanomaterials, and advanced metamaterials and devices for consumer, automotive, aerospace, and biomedical applications;
- the facility will also house a number of university collaborations, including the NRC-University of Toronto Collaboration Centre for Green Energy Materials, and equipment and students from the University of Waterloo;
- when research operations begin in mid-2021, the facility initially will host a team of about 15 researchers and support staff, with space for about 20 additional guest and visiting workers at any one time, and the fully completed facility will house roughly 100 researchers and support staff from NRC, and a broad range of collaborators and partners from academia, other government departments and industry, from Canada and around the world; and
- the advanced materials research facility consists of 1997 m2 (21,500 sf) of laboratories, office space, and meeting rooms on its first floor with a shelled-in second floor, ready to be outfitted, the two-floor building will be expanded as part of Phase 2, and a third floor will be added to accommodate collaborative work with other government departments and is anticipated to be completed in mid-2022.
“The opening of our new facility in Mississauga represents a major stepping stone for the National Research Council of Canada in advancing Canada’s clean energy agenda” said Roger Scott-Douglas, PhD, acting president, NRC. “Our vision is for this collaborative hub to become the home to new technologies that will enable industry to be more sustainable. We look forward to working with our partners in accelerating the development of advanced materials technologies and their commercialization into disruptive products for industry.”