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Toyota Research Institute Invests $36 Million for Fuel Cell Development

Before any technological innovation starts to be used on a large scale, first there’s the scientific research process. Science is always a few steps ahead of the game, testing possibilities that end up changing our future. And this is what Toyota is supporting through its Research Institute.
Dr. Jungjin Park from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is part of AMDD 1 photo
It’s been 6 years since the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has been established, with the purpose of using artificial intelligence to develop, among other things, automated driving technologies. In 2017, TRI embarked on its most important journey so far, by launching the Accelerated Materials Design and Discovery (AMDD) research program. Through AMDD, TRI teamed up with some of the best universities in the U.S., in order to study and develop the use of AI for the specific purpose of discovering innovative materials for emissions-free mobility.

AMDD was designed to unfold over the course of 4 years, with a total investment of $35 million, from TRI. This resulted in more than 150 academic papers that have been published, all on topics related to battery and fuel cell materials. Plus, open source software packages and open data sets for batteries were also developed through the program.

According to the program’s director, Brian Storey, TRI is not just here to provide funding for research, but is actually involved in the process, which makes this collaborative program unique.

After the success of the first program, TRI recently announced a second wave of investments that will boost AI-based research even further. TRI is now investing $36 million in AMDD, for the next 4 years, and the end goal is to get even closer to actually launching these advanced materials on the market.

In the near future, autonomous systems could be able to discover new materials, in a simulated form, with no assistance from people. And connecting AI directly with the exploration of innovative fuel cell materials is one of the TRI program’s main objectives.

Some of the universities that will be part of the second phase of AMDD include Stanford, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and California Institute of Technology, as well as institutions such as the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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