DuPont to contribute additional $25m to MIT research

18 May 2005 21:50  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (CNI)--DuPont will contribute another $25m (Euro19.7m) to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) research programme focused on creating innovative, next-generation materials, the company announced Wednesday.


DuPont originally contributed $35m to the project in 2000 as five-year investment. The new contribution will fund the DuPont MIT Alliance (DMA) through 2010, DuPont said.


DuPont chief technology officer Thomas Connelly Jr joined MIT president Susan Hockfield and Provost Robert Brown today to announce continued funding of the DMA.


Connelly said the 10-year, $60m commitment makes the DMA the largest corporate research and development (R&D) investment at MIT.


Connelly said: “In 2000, we asked MIT scientists to give us their best ideas on science that could enhance our everyday lives. The response and resulting research has led to significant scientific achievements.”


Connelly continued: “These first five years focused on inventing new materials using nature and biology as the design roadmap.  The second stage of the Alliance will expand the collaborative capabilities of DuPont and MIT beyond bio-based science to also include nanocomposites, nanoelectronic materials, alternative energy technologies, and next generation safety and protection materials.”


Areas of focus for the programme include: next-generation advances in metabolic engineering, including genome-wide analyses and modeling for the production of chemicals and intermediates from renewable bio-feedstocks; an early stage research programme to develop a novel biopolymer-based nervous system implant that could replace nonfunctional brain tissue following traumatic brain injury; a device for tissue-like culturing of liver cells, designed to provide early assessment of the toxicity of new pharmaceuticals; and a novel material similar to the naturally water repellent surface of the lotus leaf. Potential applications include self-cleaning fabrics, water-repellant windshields or plumbing that resists the growth of harmful bacteria by preventing water from accumulating on its surface.

By: Brian Ford
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