Acceleration Consortium & Merck partner to revamp accelerated discovery

The University of Toronto’s Acceleration Consortium has reportedly established a partnership with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany to advance accelerated discovery using self-driving labs.

The alliance intends to upgrade accelerated discovery using self-driving labs. This combines robotics, advanced computing, and artificial intelligence to rapidly design molecules and materials.

Laura Matz, Chief Science and Technology Officer at Merck KGaA expressed that the advancements in technological development using artificial intelligence will advance the discovery of new materials and molecules for life science, healthcare, and electronics.

Notably, self-driving labs can reduce the cost and time related to the market introduction of advanced materials from an average of two decades and USD 100 million to one year and USD 1 million.

Matz added that a joint effort is necessary to steer innovation in artificial intelligence for robotic experimentation and R&D, and the University of Toronto’s Acceleration Consortium is assembling the best personnel in the field to get this done.

The Acceleration Consortium will unveil a micro-credentials initiative in fall 2022 to address the surging demand for workforce development. The program will train next-gen scientists and upskill the current workforce on novel tools and skills to proliferate accelerated discovery.

According to Alán Aspuru-Guzik, Professor in the departments of computer science and chemistry in U of T’s Faculty of Arts & Science, the materials powering future generations need to be compliant with a circular economy, inexpensive, sustainable, and high-performing.

It is worth noting that the Acceleration Consortium includes 100 researchers from the University of Toronto and 40 other universities worldwide. It also comprises 20 partners from the government, the artificial intelligence community, and the industry along with a thriving network of 30 self-driving labs.

As one of its long-standing partners, Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany will help in establishing the consortium’s long-term, medium-term, and short-term priorities of applied and fundamental research.

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