Accelerating Innovation: A New Mode of Collaboration through the Critical Materials Collaborative (CMC)

H.A. Khazdozian, G. Bromhal
U.S. Department of Energy,
United States

Keywords: critical materials, collaborative, innovation


Critical materials (CM) are the building blocks of clean energy technologies that will be deployed at unprecedented levels to achieve net-zero targets worldwide by 2050. These include the “electric eighteen” – 18 critical materials the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has assessed to be critical or near critical to energy in the short and medium term: aluminum, cobalt, copper, dysprosium, electrical steel, fluorine, gallium, iridium, lithium, magnesium, natural graphite, neodymium, nickel, platinum, praseodymium, silicon, silicon carbide, and terbium. These materials face supply chain vulnerabilities, such as the lack of domestic refining capabilities, posing a risk to achieving a net-zero future. DOE has a vision to build resilient, domestic critical materials supply chains to support the clean energy transition, while creating a just and sustainable future. As part of this vision, DOE recognizes the role of innovation in building globally competitive supply chains. This includes the need to increase efficiency and circularity, while decreasing environmental and health impacts. In support of this vision, DOE launched the Critical Materials Collaborative (CMC) – a new, innovative mode of connecting applied research, development, and demonstration (RD&D) efforts across the U.S. government and the CM research community to achieve domestic clean energy manufacturing, climate, and national security goals by: building a robust innovation ecosystem; training critical materials leaders and workforce across multiple sectors; enabling industry adoption of novel, cutting-edge technology; and laying the scientific and technological groundwork needed to address emerging challenges. This talk will focus on the scientific and technical objectives of the CMC and the development a Critical Materials RD&D Roadmap for DOE to achieve those objectives.