OTTAWA— In partnership with Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, Natural Resources Canada and the National Research Council of Canada today announced the German–Canadian Materials Acceleration Centre (GC-MAC). With an aggregate $8.8 million (€6M) in funding over five years, the Centre received $2.2 million (€1.5M) in support from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), with matching funds from the German host organizations, and $4.4 million (€3M) in in-kind support from the Canadian government.
Co-located in both Germany and Canada, the Centre will be a joint hub for advanced energy materials development. In the global drive to a net-zero economy, this collaboration represents an important contribution on behalf of these two countries. GC-MAC will have implications across the clean energy spectrum and will focus on critical technologies for production and use of clean hydrogen, carbon capture and conversion to renewable fuels, and initiatives aiming at new battery technologies, like Battery 2030+ in the EU.
Canada and Germany are celebrating 50 years of science and technology co-operation in 2021. This partnership fosters skills training, research exchange and expertise sharing, thriving on access to world-class know-how and infrastructure in both countries. The Centre will integrate researchers from the academic community, including the University of Toronto, the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the Helmholtz Association, Helmholtz Institutes in Ulm and Erlangen-Nürnberg, RWTH Aachen University, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and the University of Münster.
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr. Minister of Natural Resources said, “Strengthening international partnerships will position Canada as a global innovation leader. This new centre will deliver new energy technologies to the market through world-class research and collaboration. This is how we get to net-zero.”
Prof. Dr Michael H. Eikerling, Principal Investigator, Forschungszentrum Jülich said, “Our Centre will strike a powerful alliance of research communities in Germany and Canada on a topic of utmost importance: harnessing artificial intelligence, data analytics and robotics to accelerate the discovery and design of materials for energy technologies of the future.”
Mitch Davies, President of, National Research Council of Canada said, “This partnership will further strengthen our research collaborations with our German counterparts and enable us to advance each country’s clean energy targets. We look forward to working with our partners in accelerating the development of advanced materials technologies that will benefit industry.”
- GC-MAC will focus on technologies for accelerating discovery and innovation in new materials, including experimental platforms using AI-driven robotics. They are termed Material Acceleration Platforms (MAPs) or self-driving labs.
- Both Natural Resources Canada and the National Research Council of Canada have made significant investments in MAPs, including the construction of laboratory facilities in Hamilton and Mississauga, Ontario, totalling 4200m2 (under the Laboratories Canada initiative).
- -These facilities will be used to co-locate the operations and core R&D activities of GC-MAC.
- Natural Resources Canada has supported development of MAPs as lead of the Clean Energy Materials Innovation Challenge (IC6) under the global Mission Innovation initiative.