Akron Functional Materials Center provides R&D services to industry


The new Akron Functional Materials Center (AFMC), dedicated to assisting industry, researchers and innovators with the design, fabrication and optimization of polymers and advanced materials, invites those with product development and technology transfer interest to a free informational workshop, Friday, Sept. 10, noon to 4 p.m. at The University of Akron Polymer Engineering Academic Center, 250 S. Forge St., Akron. A joint initiative between UA’s College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering and the Austen BioInnovation Institute (ABIA) in Akron, the AFMC provides combinatorial and high-throughput methods for industrial problems and applications.

“The AFMC is structured around elevating the technology level of research discoveries and new polymeric materials in the areas of biomaterials, energy and sustainability,” says Dr. Matthew Becker, associate professor of polymer science. “The center is versatile to enable individual focus project development and tech transfer mechanisms afforded by virtue of being an academic institution. It will contain a collection of resource-level facilities with established ‘combi tools and gradient methods.’”

Launched with $1.6 million funding over two years from the ABIA, the AFMC is in the process of recruiting member organizations. A membership fee of $10,000 will provide organizations with open-source access to experts and technological developments across areas of research covering six initial technical working groups: nanomaterials, complex fluids, biomaterials, adhesion, membranes and automation. Several additional mechanisms are available to organizations interested in participating at higher levels.

Workshop attendees will tour the up-and-coming National Polymer Innovation Center  (NPIC), which will house the AFMC on the UA campus.  “As one of the NPIC’s industrially relevant centers, the AFMC includes new laboratories, clean rooms and industrial-scale prototype development facilities,” notes Becker.

Contact Megan Belknap at meb34@uakron.edu or at 330-972-6613 for workshop reservations.

Media contact: Denise Henry, 330-972-6477 or henryd@uakron.edu.