Materials research plays a critical role in advancing science and technology, manufacturing processes, establishing new businesses and driving economic prosperity.

These printable resources include examples of how materials impact our lives, showcasing advances due to investments in materials research and highlighting areas where additional investments are needed. They are written for the lay public to facilitate communication with policy makers (and others) on matters of importance to the materials science community. Additional topics are developed each year based upon the priorities and challenges.

National Science and Technology Council »

Advanced Manufacturing: A Snapshot of Priority Technology Areas Across the Federal Government (April 2016)

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2016 MRS Spring Meeting Current Topics in Materials Science & Policy »

Overview of Federal Advanced Manufacturing Initiatives. Mr. John Vickers, Principal Technologist, NASA (March 2016)

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Securing Our Competitiveness »

Sustained investment in scientific research and education is critical for energy solutions of the future. Recent reports by MRS, the American Physical Society and Department of Energy identify a complex global supply chain for Energy Critical Elements that could threaten America's competitiveness in the rapidly-growing technology marketplace. Near-term investment in research and education is crucial to long-term sustainability. (September 2012)

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Return on Investment – Economic Growth, Research Materials Innovation »

While it may be difficult to assign a universal “return on investment” for broad scientific research, and specifically for materials research, there is a direct correlation between science, materials and the economy. Specifically, investment in scientific research is the starting point for economic development. Modern computing, manufacturing systems and societal infrastructures have all had a dramatic impact on today’s economy and all are built on scientific advancements and innovation. (August 2012)

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Task Force on American Innovation – Scientific Research »

Research in science and engineering is the backbone of America’s innovation economy. The federal investment in basic research in the physical sciences and engineering has strengthened national security, improved health care, advanced alternative energy and efficiency technologies, made possible the education of generations of scientists and engineers, and fueled economic growth and American jobs. (August 2012)

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Deconstructing the iPad »

In 2012, MRS co-sponsored the Task Force on American Innovation event “Deconstructing the iPad: How Federally Supported Research Leads to Game-Changing Innovation.” This video recording of the event documents how investment in basic science let to tablet technology. In addition to MRS, other sponsors of this event were American Chemical Society, American Physical Society, Computing Research Association, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA and Texas Instruments. (April 2012)

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Automotive Applications of Basic Research »

Federally-funded research laid the foundation for many technological advances contained in the modern car. (September 2010)

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Is Kevlar Enough? »

Sustained federal investment in scientific research is critical for even stronger, lighter materials.

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Synchrotron and Neutron Facilities »

To fully address emerging challenges, scientists must study real materials—learning the intricate details of how they function in order to design life-saving medicines and cancer treatments, radically advanced batteries and engines and novel materials and composites, to name only a few applications. This requires synchrotron and neutron sources. These facilities allow scientists to investigate materials at the atomic scale, thus enabling them to make groundbreaking discoveries and spur transformational innovations that create new products and industries, generate new jobs and address our energy, national security and technological needs.

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