May 25, 2022

Crowdsourcing designs for the next generation of self-driving labs

The Acceleration Consortium (AC) working together with Matter and Schmidt Futures are soliciting white papers towards Critical Materials Advancements for Societal Solutions (CriticalMASS).


Self-driving labs (SDLs) have already begun to revolutionize scientific research by combining state of the art automation, artificial intelligence, and data management tools to accelerate discovery.

SDLs have the potential to address some of the century’s most pressing problems by helping us to create new, more sustainable materials for a fraction of the usual time and cost.

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)

Primary Journals: Matter, Cell Reports Physical Science
Submission deadline: July 15, 2022
Editors: Steve Cranford, Editor-In-Chief, Matter
Guest editors: Martin Seifrid, Jason Hattrick-Simpers, Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Tom Kalil

Reaching critical MASS (materials acceleration for societal solutions): Call for papers

To date, a number of proofs of concept have been demonstrated, and there is clear momentum within the community towards adopting these tools to propel science into the future. This is the time to dream big! The Acceleration Consortium (AC) working together with Matter and Schmidt Futures are soliciting white papers towards Critical Materials Advancements for Societal Solutions (CriticalMASS). We are currently entering a critical period of computational innovation, particularly in materials science. Read more about it now.

Help us reach critical mass!
We seek white papers defining the low-hanging high-impact projects and associated teams that, if appropriately funded, could push ideas out of the lab and start solving societal issues. Gathering input from all resources, we can reach a proverbial critical mass to initiate a chain reaction of acceleration materials discovery. Help us reach this critical mass of ideas and start a new materials reaction!

The papers will be published both in Matter and associated journals such as Cell Reports Physical Science as Perspective articles and presented as a special online collection highlighting transformational SDL technologies.

The papers will also be highlighted at the Accelerate Conference hosted by the Acceleration Consortium (AC) in Toronto from August 30 to September 2, 2022 (early-bird registration is now open: Based at the University of Toronto, the AC is a global community of government, academia, and industry accelerating the discovery of new materials and molecules needed for a sustainable future.

To meet the publication standards of Cell Press, all white papers will be peer reviewed prior to publication. Parallel to the review process, the white papers will also be ranked by a panel of SDL experts. The 3 highest ranked white papers by a PI and the 3 highest ranked white papers by a pre-tenure track researcher will receive travel support up to $5,000 CAD to present their work as invited talks in a special session of the Accelerate Conference.

To be considered for the conference, white papers must be submitted to Matter by July 15, 2022. Please include the desire for consideration in the cover letter to ensure that your paper is included in the CriticalMASS call for white papers.

To learn more and to submit your paper, please visit:


Acceleration Consortium

This piece was written by a member of the AC team

Deadline to apply for our 2023 AC postdoc fellowship is Jan 27!