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Economic Analysis of the National Need for Technology Infrastructure to Support the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI)


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NIST is soliciting applications from eligible applicants to assess the economic impacts of meeting the Nation’s need for technology infrastructure to support the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI). Advanced materials are essential to economic security and human well-being, with applications in industries aimed at addressing challenges in clean energy, national security, and human welfare, yet it can take 20 or more years to move a material after initial discovery to the market. This prospective (strategic planning) study involves, at a minimum, expertise in the following disciplines: technology assessment, high-tech industry behavioral and structural analyses, microeconomic modeling of complex technology development and commercialization patterns, high-tech industry survey and data collection techniques, and quantitative and qualitative analyses of technology infrastructure gaps that are inhibiting the advancement of technologies. The goal of the analysis is to identify gaps in the Nation’s technology infrastructure needed to support the MGI and estimate the economic value of eliminating these gaps.

The specific goals of this study are to: (1) assess the technological and economic trends in the research, development, adoption and deployment of MGI related technologies, including demonstrated and anticipated adopters of MGI technology; (2) assess gaps in the technology infrastructure associated with the efficient domestic development of highly complex emerging materials research technologies; (3) assess qualitatively these gaps in terms of industry investment criteria and research mechanisms used, (4) determine the quantitative empirical rankings of the economic benefit of eliminating these gaps based on novel data and modelling; and (5) assess the implied U.S. and international government policy responses, specific to phases in the R&D cycle, technology transfer efforts and subsequent scale-up (capital formation).

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