Materials acceleration platforms (MAPs) can reduce the time and cost of bringing advanced materials to market, from an average of 20 years and $100 million to as little as one year and $1 million.

VIDEO LOOP: 1. ADA at the University of British Columbia (Curtis Berlinguette, Jason Hein, Alán Aspuru-Guzik); 2. Artificial Chemist synthesizes made-to-measure inoroganic perovskite quantum dots (Milad Abolhasani, NC State University); 3. Robotically reconfigurable flow chemistry platform performs multistep chemical syntheses planned in part by AI (Connor Coley, MIT); 4. Chemputer, a computer-driven automated chemistry lab (Lee Cronin, University of Glasgow); 5. Mobile robot chemist (Andy Cooper, University of Liverpool)
What are they?
MAPs are self-driving laboratories, which combine material science with the power of artificial intelligence, robotics, and advanced computing, to autonomously and rapidly design and test new materials.
How do they work?  

The scope of materials discovery is theoretically enormous: the number of unique materials that can be synthesized exceeds the number of atoms in the universe. Conventional approaches are slow and expensive, allowing researchers to only explore a tiny subset of the materials that satisfy application-specific functionality.

Self-driving labs use artificial intelligence (AI) and computational modelling to predict which advanced materials or small molecules will have the properties (e.g. conductivity) required for a particular application. A robotic lab then uses these predictions to autonomously synthesize and tests for said properties. This data is then fed back into the AI system, so that it can learn from the results to generate a new, better slate of candidates. After rounds of predictions, syntheses, and tests, a winner emerges. By inverting the usual discovery process, this closed-loop technology allows scientists to first define the desired properties and then work backwards to develop whole families of new materials without tedious hours of trial and experiments in the lab.

CLOSED LOOP DESIGN
AI-guided design
Automated chemical
synthesis
Automated material characterization
New advanced materials
What’s the hype?
Digitizing the lab shortens materials development time and cost by an order of magnitude. This materials sciences revolution is expected to create new trillion-dollar markets over the next decade.

Materials are at the centre of nearly all the world’s major challenges, from pandemics and climate change to plastic pollution. New materials are required for higher-efficiency renewable energy and energy storage technologies, reusable and biodegradable materials, and to replace critical materials in limited supply or subject to supply disruptions.

For example, advanced materials represent up to 50% of the manufacturing cost of clean energy technology, and this is expected to increase to 80% in the near future. Realizing these technological solutions requires the discovery of novel advanced materials that are more efficient, longer lasting, less expensive, and more environmentally-friendly. As a foundational technology, MAPS can be applied to a wide range of areas that are critical to our socio-economic well-being and the planet.

Clear parallels exist between the high cost and long timelines of materials development to genome sequencing prior to the advent of the Human Genome Project. New sequencing technologies led to the exponential decrease in the cost and time required to decode the genomes of living organisms. These developments revolutionized biology, created the discipline of genomics, and led to the explosion of the biotech industry.

What’s NEXT
In addition to discovery and design, the AC’s MAPs research will push the frontiers of fundamental research in several fields—such as robotics, computer science and chemistry—to develop novel methodologies and tools. AC researchers will address fundamental challenges in deep learning algorithms and materials modelling, and practical issues of robotic control.

Have a question about this emerging technology? Ask our experts.

FAQ

Materials Acceleration Platforms (MAPs) Ecosystem

Filter
Name

Bayesian Experimental Autonomous Researcher (BEAR)

AC members
Keith A. Brown, Kristofer Reyes
Location
Boston University
United States
United States
Application Areas
Green products
Transportation or construction

United States

Name

SynFini

AC members
Peter Madrid
Location
SRI International, Menlo Park
United States
United States
Application Areas
Green products
Drugs

United States

Name

AMANDA

AC members
Christoph Brabec
Location
Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH - Helmholtz Institute Erlangen Nürnberg / Erlangen Germany
Europe
Europe
Application Areas
Green products
Energy
Electronics

Europe

Name

UW Soft Matter MAP

AC members
Lilo D. Pozzo
Location
University of Washington
United States
United States
Application Areas
Green products
Electronics
Energy
Healthcare
Drugs

United States

Name

Opentrons pipetting robots (x2)

AC members
Oleksandr Voznyy
Location
University of Toronto, Scarborough
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Electronics
Energy

Canada

Name

The MACHINE

AC members
Alán Aspuru-Guzik
Location
University of Toronto
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Electronics
Energy

Canada

Name

RAPID

AC members
Joshua Schrier, Tonio Buonassisi
Location
Haverford College
United States
United States
Application Areas
Energy

United States

Name

Process optimizer for organic synthesis

AC members
Jason Hein, Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Matthew Sigman
Location
Merck & Co. Inc.
United States
United States
Application Areas
Drugs
Process chemistry and manufacturing

United States

Name

PRIMITIV

AC members
Kedar Hippalgaonkar
Location
Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR
Asia
Asia
Application Areas
Energy

Asia

Name

Phase MAP

AC members
Jason Hattrick-Simpers
Location
University of Toronto
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Green products
Electronics
Energy
Transportation or construction

Canada

Name

Organic laser MAP

AC members
Alán Aspuru-Guzik
Location
University of Toronto
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Electronics

Canada

Name

Opentrons Liquid Handler

AC members
Kedar Hippalgaonkar
Location
Northwestern Polytechnical University and A*STAR
Asia
Asia
Application Areas
Energy

Asia

Name

NaviCat

AC members
Clémence Corminboeuf
Location
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
Europe
Europe
Application Areas
Green products
Electronics
Drugs

Europe

Name

molSimplify

AC members
Heather J. Kulik
Location
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
United States
United States
Application Areas
Energy

United States

Name

MOFSimplify

AC members
Heather J. Kulik
Location
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
United States
United States
Application Areas
Energy

United States

Name

Mobile robotic chemist

AC members
Andy Cooper
Location
University of Liverpool
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Application Areas
Green products
Energy
Healthcare
Drugs
Solar fuels

United Kingdom

Name

ML for silicon and aluminosilicate atomistic simulations (MLSAAS)

AC members
Claudiane Ouellet-Plamondon
Location
École de Technologie Supérieure
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Electronics
Energy
Transportation or construction

Canada

Name

Minioni

AC members
Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Ted Sargent
Location
University of Toronto
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Light-emitting materials

Canada

Name

Microfluidic Machine Learning (MFML) platform

AC members
Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Eugenia Kumacheva
Location
University of Toronto
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
nanoparticle synthesis

Canada

Name

MAP for gold nanoclusters

AC members
Jason Hein, Cathleen Crudden
Location
University of British Columbia
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Electronics
Healthcare

Canada

Name

LISSY

AC members
Kedar Hippalgaonkar
Location
Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR
Asia
Asia
Application Areas
Electronics

Asia

Name

Pittsburgh

AC members
Olexandr Isayev
Location
Carnegie Mellon University
United States
United States
Application Areas
Electronics
Drugs

United States

Name

High-throughput nanoindenation

AC members
Yu Zou
Location
University of Toronto
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
structural metals

Canada

Name

Haoping's robot

AC members
Alán Aspuru-Guzik
Location
University of Toronto
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Drugs

Canada

Name

Flow-based synthesis

AC members
Kedar Hippalgaonkar
Location
Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, A*STAR
Asia
Asia
Application Areas
Polymer synthesis and characterization

Asia

Name

Expert lab assistant for solubility determination

AC members
Jason Hein
Location
University of British Columbia
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Drugs
Process chemistry and manufacturing

Canada

Name

Electrocatalysis MAP

AC members
Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Robert Black
Location
National Research Council Canada (Mississauga)
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Green products
Energy

Canada

Name

CAST-MAP or TEG-MAP

AC members
Mark S. Kozdras
Location
CanmetMATERIALS lab
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Energy
Transportation or construction

Canada

Name

Artificial Chemist

AC members
Milad Abolhasani
Location
North Carolina State University
United States
United States
Application Areas
Green products
Electronics
Energy
Healthcare

United States

Name

Ada-CO2

AC members
Curtis Berlinguette
Location
University of British Columbia
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Energy
Materials for CO2 electrolysis

Canada

Name

Ada

AC members
Curtis Berlinguette, Jason Hein, Alán Aspuru-Guzik
Location
University of British Columbia
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Energy

Canada

Name

Acceleration of mix design for 3D printing

AC members
Claudiane Ouellet-Plamondon
Location
École de Technologie Supérieure
Canada
Canada
Application Areas
Green products
Energy
Transportation or construction

Canada

United Kingdom
Europe
Asia
Canada
United States
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