Challenge

A revolutionary shift in materials discovery is underway.

By driving technology development, materials innovation has the potential to transform our lives and the world for the better. Advanced and other materials will make technologies cheaper, better and more environmentally friendly. However, materials innovation is incredibly slow and expensive.

We are building materials acceleration platforms to accelerate the discovery of molecules and materials by 10x-100x

Objectives

Transform scientific innovation

Accelerating innovation by leveraging machine learning, robotics, chemistry and engineering to develop high speed autonomous labs that deploy machine learning algorithms to predict which advanced materials or molecules possess the properties required for a desired application. The autonomous lab rapidly refines these predictions by autonomously synthesizing and validating the predicted molecules.

Build an innovation ecosystem

The creation of an innovation ecosystem for advanced materials that combines technological breakthroughs to commercial translation and company creation addressing genuine market needs. The Consortium is partnering with a range of leading private and public sector partners on molecular innovation for new drugs and therapeutics and to develop high-value advanced materials for industrial use.

Train a highly skilled workforce

The Acceleration Consortium will train the next generation of researchers and technicians in novel AI-based molecular and advanced materials techniques. The training program will create a talent pipeline for industry partners and support an innovation ecosystem that launches startups and attracts venture capital.

Advanced Research

Leveraging cutting-edge techniques

From machine learning, robotics, chemistry, and engineering to develop Materials Acceleration Platforms (MAPs). MAPs use AI to predict the molecules and materials that will have the properties required for particular applications and then deploy robotics to synthesize, test and refine the molecules or materials autonomously.

Currently, we can scan

100s

of molecules/materials resulting in

>10 years R&D

$10M – $100M

to reach market

With Materials acceleration platforms, we can scan

100,000s

of molecules/materials

1 – 2 years R&D

$1M – $10M

to reach market

What We Do

Areas of Application

The Consortium will address fundamental challenges in deep learning algorithms and materials modelling, and practical issues of robotic control. Consortium scientists also focus on materials and molecule discovery for a wide range of applications, from sustainable technologies to drug discovery.

  1. 01

    Environmentally-friendly Materials: biodegradable recyclable polymers, plastics & fabrics designed for the circular economy

  2. 02

    Health Care: Drugs, therapeutics, excipients, and advanced medical materials

  3. 03

    Transportation & Construction: Low carbon and eco-friendly cement, and Lighter, stronger, corrosion-resistant alloys and composites

  4. 04

    Renewable Energy: Materials for energy generation and organic flow batteries for large-scale energy storage

  5. 05

    Electronics: Cheaper, high-capacity LEDs and wearable electronics

  6. 06

    Entirely new classes of materials to launch new industries

We are Building an Innovation Ecosystem

The Acceleration Consortium brings academia, industry and government together to build pre-competitive technologies for AI-driven laboratories for pre-competitive materials and molecular applications.

Value Proposition

The Acceleration Consortium industry sponsorship program provides personalized access to a wide range of expertise, research, innovation, and talent. Programs include the following:

  • Access to open-source software, hardware designs, and support staff to learn how to build AI-driven autonomous labs for the discovery of advanced materials and molecules.
  • Embed staff within the consortium to get hands-on access and training with AI-driven autonomous labs and apply the latest discoveries in AI aided experimental design.
  • Consult with world-leading experts on AI, laboratory automation, and materials science and engineering to address core technical and materials development challenges.
  • Tackle technical challenges with directed or collaborative research projects.
  • Access to a pipeline of top student recruits and entrepreneurs with a wide range of cross-disciplinary expertise from across the globe.

Who We Are

Leadership Team

Alán Aspuru‑Guzik

Director

Alán Aspuru‑Guzik
Director
Professor Alán Aspuru-Guzik is the Canada 150 Research Chair in Theoretical and Quantum Chemistry and a CIFAR Lebovic Fellow. He is a professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Computer Science at the University of Toronto, and a CIFAR AI Chair at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Alán is a world-leading scientist and pioneer in the fields of clean energy materials, computational chemistry, quantum computing, artificial intelligence and autonomous experimentation. Professor Aspuru-Guzik has been a co-founder of Kyulux, now part of Calculario, Zapata Computing as well as Kebotix, which focuses on autonomous experimentation for materials discovery. Professor Aspuru-Guzik has pionereed the use of AI for chemical and materials applications. Aspuru-Guzik is interested in energy-storage, light-harvesting and light-emission materials as some recent applications of the technology he develops with his research group.
Zamyla Chan

Associate Director, Platforms & Training

Zamyla Chan
Associate Director, Platforms & Training
Dr. Zamyla Morgan Chan is an inorganic and physical chemist with materials science, engineering, and computer science training. With her expertise in Materials Acceleration Platforms and passion for education, she is excited to train the next generation of scientists in accelerated materials discovery. After obtaining her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence. Her research seeks to facilitate accelerated discovery of scalable and stable materials by leveraging robotics, machine learning, and fundamental science for inverse design. For 10 years she served as the Walkthrough Lead for CS50 and CS50x, one of the most popular computer science courses worldwide, where she was a beloved instructor for millions of students. zamyla.chan@utoronto.ca
Padraic Foley

Director, Strategy and Partnerships

Padraic Foley
Director, Strategy and Partnerships
Padraic comes to the Acceleration Consortium from the Ontario Centre of Innovation(OCI) where during his time there co-lead a pan-Ontario business development teamwho are seen as key commercialization brokers in the innovation communities across Ontario. His team helped industry partners commercialize innovations, transfer technologies and develop promising talent across unique and diverse stakeholder groups to grow the Ontario economy. More recently as Director, Regional Partnerships he managed, built and strengthen OCI’s relation with many innovation and ecosystem partners across Ontario and Canada. Padraic brings an ability to connect the right people at the right time to bring mutual benefit to multiple parties. Padraic also has a chemistry background with graduate degrees from University CollegeDublin, Ireland and McMaster University. padraic.foley@utoronto.ca
Jason Hein

Associate Director, Academic Partnerships

Jason Hein
Associate Director, Academic Partnerships
Dr. Hein is an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia leading an interdisciplinary research group of chemists, computer scientists, and engineers dedicated to tackling unsolved problems in modern organic chemistry. Hein obtained his Ph.D. as an NSERC PGS scholar in 2005 at the University of Manitoba and was awarded an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship to work with Profs. Barry Sharpless and Valery Fokin at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. He became a senior research associate under Prof. Donna Blackmond in 2009 prior to establishing his independent career at the University of California, Merced. In 2015, he was granted the American Chemical Society Young Investigator’s Award and transferred to the University of British Columbia. The Hein Lab has become a recognized leader in automated kinetic reaction analysis, creatively integrating instrumentation and technology to develop early process chemistry that provides a bridge between medicinal chemistry discovery and scale-up. Current studies are aimed at solving a diverse set of problems, including understanding catalytic reaction mechanisms, building robust chemical processes for manufacturing, and developing coupled preferential crystallization technologies for chemical purification. These studies are enabled by a collection of prototype modular robotic tools and integrated analytical hardware which create the first broadly applicable automated reaction profiling toolkit.
Mark Kozdras

Associate Director, Partner Relations

Mark Kozdras
Associate Director, Partner Relations
Mark S. Kozdras is a scientist and program manager in Natural Resources Canada’s, CanmetMATERIALS laboratory.  The research at CanmetMATERIALS supports improved energy efficiency of structural and functional materials in energy generation, distribution and use, within the Energy Technology Sector.  Kozdras is the Canadian representative of the Advanced Materials for Transportation Technology Collaboration Programme with the International Energy Agency as well as the Canadian representative and international co-lead of the Clean Energy Materials Innovation Challenge, IC6, of Mission Innovation.  Within the latter role he spearheaded international collaboration in the development of Materials Acceleration Platforms (MAP), autonomous or self-driving laboratories for clean energy materials development, and leads the NRCan project to create a thermoelectric generator MAP.  Kozdras is the NRCan representative in the joint NRCan/NRC design development team for the Centre for Accelerated Materials Discovery and Innovation, and is a project lead of the Germany-Canada Materials Acceleration Centre.  He will retire soon and plans to maintain his close ties with the energy innovation community as an NRCan emeritus scientist.
Geoff Ozin

Senior Advisor

Geoff Ozin
Senior Advisor
Geoffrey A. Ozin is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Toronto and Government of Canada Research Chair in Materials Chemistry and Nanochemistry. He currently spearheads the Solar Fuels Team at the University of Toronto. He has held positions as Honorary Professor at The Royal Institution of Great Britain and University College London, External Adviser for the London Center for Nanotechnology, Alexander von Humboldt Senior Scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Surface and Colloid Science and the Center for Functional Nanostructures at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, and Global Chair at Bath University. He is the author of five books: Cryochemistry (1976), Nanochemistry: A Chemical Approach to Nanomaterials (2006), Concepts of Nanochemistry (2009), The Story of CO2: Big Ideas for a Small Molecule (2020), Energy Materials Discovery for a Sustainable Future (2021). He lives with his wife in Toronto, Canada.
Dwight Seferos

Associate Director, Research

Dwight Seferos
Associate Director, Research
Dwight Seferos is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on the synthesis of polymer semiconductors and polymer nanomaterials. We target polymers with optical and electronic properties that make them well suited for solar energy, sensing, and biomedical imaging. The chemical challenge is that polymer properties are controlled by both molecular structure and interactions beyond the molecular scale. Our approach is to design and synthesize novel polymers, control the organization of these polymers at the nanoscale, and determine how structure and interactions influence properties.
Chandra Veer Singh

Associate Director, Academic Programs

Chandra Veer Singh
Associate Director, Academic Programs
Dr. Singh is the Erwin Edward Hart Endowed Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Associate Chair of Research for the MSE department, with an expertise in computational materials engineering. His research group focuses on atomistic and multiscale modeling of materials, using techniques such as density functional theory, molecular dynamics and machine learning. His group has contributed significantly to the design and development of graphene and other 2D materials for energy storage and structural applications. He has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications; including in esteemed journals such as Advanced Materials, Science Advances, Nature Catalysis, PNAS, Nature Communications, Energy & Environmental Science, JACS, Energy Stoage Materials, and Nano Letters. He has also won several prestigious awards such as Ontario New Researcher Award, $1M Connaught Global Challenge (team award), Hart Professorship, and NSERC Accelerator Supplement. During last seven years at UofT, he has trained over 80 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. He is a member of Compute Canada Resource Allocation Committee and TMS ICME committee, and actively participates in journal paper and grant reviewing at the international level.
Helen Tran

Associate Director, Programs

Helen Tran
Associate Director, Programs
Helen Tran is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Chemistry (co-appointed in the Department of Chemical Engineering). Her research program leverages polymer chemistry to develop materials encoded with information for self-assembly, degradability, and electronic transport to address challenges in health and sustainability. Helen is committed to scientific outreach, endorses communication among interdisciplinary disciplines, and continually strives to become a supportive mentor.

AC Canadian and Global Members

Christine Allen

University of Toronto

Christine Allen
University of Toronto
Gisele Azimi

University of Toronto

Gisele Azimi
University of Toronto
Ajay Agrawal

University of Toronto

Ajay Agrawal
University of Toronto
Rob Batey

University of Toronto

Rob Batey
University of Toronto
Aimy Bazylak

University of Toronto

Aimy Bazylak
University of Toronto
Tim Bender

University of Toronto

Tim Bender
University of Toronto
Amy Bilton

University of Toronto

Amy Bilton
University of Toronto
Curtis Berlinguette

University of British Columbia

Curtis Berlinguette
University of British Columbia
Robert Black

National Research Council Canada

Robert Black
National Research Council Canada
Christoph Brabec

FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg

Christoph Brabec
FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
Jillian Buriak

University of Alberta

Jillian Buriak
University of Alberta
Marty Burke

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Marty Burke
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Juan Felipe Carrasquilla

Vector Institute

Juan Felipe Carrasquilla
Vector Institute
John Chodera

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

John Chodera
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Connor Coley

MIT

Connor Coley
MIT
Andy Cooper

University of Liverpool

Andy Cooper
University of Liverpool
Clémence Corminboeuf

École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne

Clémence Corminboeuf
École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne
Lee Cronin

University of Glasgow

Lee Cronin
University of Glasgow
Cathy Crudden

Queen’s University

Cathy Crudden
Queen’s University
Abigail Doyle

Princeton University

Abigail Doyle
Princeton University
Ulrich Fekl

University of Toronto

Ulrich Fekl
University of Toronto
Joshua Gans

University of Toronto

Joshua Gans
University of Toronto
Animesh Garg

University of Toronto

Animesh Garg
University of Toronto
Rafael Gomez‑Bombarelli

MIT

Rafael Gomez‑Bombarelli
MIT
Bartosz Grzybowski

Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology

Bartosz Grzybowski
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology
Frank Gu

University of Toronto

Frank Gu
University of Toronto
Johannes Hachmann

University at Buffalo

Johannes Hachmann
University at Buffalo
Jason Hattrick‑Simpers

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Jason Hattrick‑Simpers
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Benjamin Hatton

University of Toronto

Benjamin Hatton
University of Toronto
Kedar Hippalgaonkar

Nanyang Technological University, IMRE, A*STAR, Singapore

Kedar Hippalgaonkar
Nanyang Technological University, IMRE, A*STAR, Singapore
Olexandr Isayev

Carnegie Mellon University

Olexandr Isayev
Carnegie Mellon University
Jan H. Jensen

University of Copenhagen

Jan H. Jensen
University of Copenhagen
Yousung Jung

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Yousung Jung
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
Heather Kulik

MIT

Heather Kulik
MIT
Eugenia Kumacheva

University of Toronto

Eugenia Kumacheva
University of Toronto
Mara Lederman

University of Toronto

Mara Lederman
University of Toronto
Benji Maruyama

Air Force Research Laboratory

Benji Maruyama
Air Force Research Laboratory
Hani Naguib

University of Toronto

Hani Naguib
University of Toronto
Claudiane Oullett‑Plamondon

École de technologie supérieure

Claudiane Oullett‑Plamondon
École de technologie supérieure
Adrian Roitberg

University of Florida

Adrian Roitberg
University of Florida
Ted Sargent

University of Toronto

Ted Sargent
University of Toronto
Joshua Schrier

Fordham University

Joshua Schrier
Fordham University
Florian Shkurti

University of Toronto

Florian Shkurti
University of Toronto
Matt Sigman

University of Utah

Matt Sigman
University of Utah
David Sinton

University of Toronto

David Sinton
University of Toronto
Isaac Tamblyn

National Research Council Canada

Isaac Tamblyn
National Research Council Canada
Tejs Vegge

DTU Energy, Technical University of Denmark

Tejs Vegge
DTU Energy, Technical University of Denmark
Anatole Von Lilienfeld

University of Vienna

Anatole Von Lilienfeld
University of Vienna
Oleksandr Voznyy

University of Toronto

Oleksandr Voznyy
University of Toronto
Christopher Wolverton

Northwestern University

Christopher Wolverton
Northwestern University
Andrei Yudin

University of Toronto

Andrei Yudin
University of Toronto
Yu Zou

University of Toronto

Yu Zou
University of Toronto

Our Partners

Partner with us Today

We are seeking partners to support the of Materials Acceleration Platforms, materials research and development, and to translate materials development discoveries into technologies.