Find. Extract. Predict.

NSF Grant award to research team including OntoChem

27 December 2022

The U.S. National Science Foundation is accelerating convergence research across materials discovery and development as well as production and manufacturing to address challenges aligned to the manufacturing, reuse and recycling of critical materials and products.

With a total investment of $11.5 million, 16 Phase 1 multidisciplinary teams have been selected for NSF’s Convergence Accelerator program’s Track I: Sustainable Materials for Global Challenges. Australia’s national science agency, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, or CSIRO, is also contributing and will fund Australian researchers to participate on two U.S. projects.

The Track I topic was chosen based on the results of NSF-funded community workshops supported by the NSF’s Convergence Accelerator ideation process. At the end of Phase 1, the teams will participate in a formal Phase 2 proposal and pitch. Over 24 months, selected Phase 2 teams will continue developing a solution and will create a sustainability plan.

We are proud that our project is among the 16 funded projects: PFASTIR: PFAS Toolkit for Innovating Replacements, led by IBM Corporation – Almaden Research Center. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), a large set of organofluorine compounds and materials, are an important class of persistent environmental pollutants with harmful environmental and human health impacts. The identification, assessment, replacement, and remediation of PFAS chemicals and materials is an urgent global sustainability challenge.
Critically, the recent expansion of the PFAS class definition has scaled the problem far beyond what traditional chemical and material discovery paradigms can manage. To create a comprehensive and scalable solution for accelerating the discovery of PFAS replacements, IBM will partner with OntoChem, the University of Pittsburgh, Cornell University, and NuMat Technologies with additional guidance from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) PFAS Consortium and the Division of the National Toxicology Program – National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (DNTP/NIEHS).

Lutz Weber
Founder and CEO of the OntoChem GmbH