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ORNL, Japan plan for collaboration to boost advanced materials research and manufacturing

Ariel view of Oak Ridge National Lab with mountains in the background and buildings and a pond in the foreground
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory conducts research on advanced materials and manufacturing. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Advanced materials research to enable energy-efficient, cost-competitive and environmentally friendly technologies for the United States and Japan is the goal of a memorandum of understanding, or MOU, between the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Japan’s National Institute of Materials Science, or NIMS.

“This is an important step forward in advanced materials science research,” said Yutai Kato, director of the Materials Science and Technology Division at ORNL, who is the technical contact for the planned collaborative research. “We are excited about the opportunity for future collaborations with NIMS scientists. We look forward to a future of increased interaction where we can, together, solve some of the world’s biggest scientific problems in materials and manufacturing science.”

Brick building to the left connected with a glass building on the right. There is a tree in front with a sidewalk and grass
The Research Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics at the Japanese National Institute for Materials Science, or NIMS. Credit: NIMS

Kazuhiro Hono, NIMS president, said, “I'm pleased with the conclusion of this MOU. We look forward to the further development of research collaboration in advanced materials and manufacturing through this MOU.”

The MOU, between UT-Battelle, which operates ORNL for DOE, and NIMS, is intended to “promote enhanced collaboration between the two national institutes and to establish a cooperative relationship in the areas of advanced materials and manufacturing through the development of new materials and manufacturing processes,” according to the memorandum.

Among its benefits, the MOU will lay the groundwork to strengthen and promote institutional exchange of staff, scientific and technical information, and will lead to symposia and workshops in both countries, Kato said. The MOU was signed in June 2024 and is in effect for five years.

NIMS is a Designated National Research and Development Institute in Japan, to create world-class achievements in materials science and technology.

UT-Battelle manages ORNL for DOE’s Office of Science, the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States. DOE’s Office of Science is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit — Lawrence Bernard