Shaping the Future with Polymers

Polymer materials, such as plastics, rubbers, and synthetic fibers, are one of the most important areas of our economy.  Discoveries during the 20th century completely transformed the way we provide health care, feed, clothe, shelter, and transport humanity; almost 10% of petroleum consumption goes to polymers to meet these needs. 

However, the pace of materials innovation is often frustratingly slow. The time period from the discovery to widespread commercialization of poly(lactic acid), the highest volume sustainable polymer, was over 70 years!

Speeding up Materials Innovation by Harnessing Big Data

To accelerate the pace of materials innovation, the Community Resource for Innovation in Polymer Technology (CRIPT) will build a data-centric infrastructure for findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) data that is usable by a wide variety of stakeholders, including polymer scientists/engineers and data scientists from academia, industry, as well as government.

The constructed data-centric infrastructure would assist polymer scientists, as well as data scientists, to get access to and share data efficiently, see what’s been done before, and analyze data and data relationships. Ultimately, the ecosystem will increase productivity and help us develop better materials faster.