Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz, CA. MAP is administered about 1/4 mile from here.


The United States’ economy has benefited from a constant flow of innovative materials for many decades.  The  foundation for these innovations is formed from a deep understanding of many-body physics, continuous advances in synthesis, and from breakthroughs in measurement and computation.   A 2003 report from the DOE, "Design, Discovery and Growth of Novel Materials For Basic Research: An Urgent U.S. Need," outlined areas of concern regarding continued U.S. leadership in the basic science of materials. This led to a 2009 report by the National Research Council, Frontiers in Crystalline Matter: From Discovery to Technology, which documented the state of crystalline materials research and recommended steps to ensure future global competitiveness.  Both reports acknowledge that the research activities defining the discovery and growth of crystalline matter, and materials research in general, are performed by a large number of groups with a huge diversity of expertise and capability.  

The White House’s Materials Genome Initiative addresses some issues raised by the NRC report, with the specific goal to “double the speed with which we discover, develop, and manufacture new materials.”  The DOE, NSF, and NIST have each developed a response to the President’s call.

Among the general recommendations emerging from the above reports is the creation of a materials network that would provide a web-enabled means to connect these groups.  The UCSC-hosted Materials Advancement Portal is a possible step towards realizing this network.  For tasks such as locating a sample for a particular measurement, finding someone who can perform a particular measurement on your sample, or discussing a subject with an expert, the site seeks to provide the needed contact.