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NSF Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (CB2)


The landscape of modern innovation is rapidly shifting, with quantum computing and bioplastics emerging as two promising frontiers. At the heart of these shifts lies the Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) program, a National Science Foundation (NSF) initiative aiming to catalyze breakthrough pre-competitive research. This is realized through fostering collaborations between industry pioneers, top-tier academic institutions, and government entities. One such collaboration has birthed the Center for Quantum Computing and Information Technologies (QCiT) at Carnegie Mellon University, seeking to harness quantum mechanics to revolutionize diverse sectors, from AI to finance. Parallelly, the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposites (CB2), encompassing North Dakota State University, Iowa State University, Washington State University, and the University of Georgia, is channeling its energies to create sustainable bioplastic solutions, gaining significant traction with a growth rate eclipsing its petroleum-based counterpart.


While the promise of these centers is undeniable, ensuring productive collaboration between academia and industry poses a unique challenge. For QCiT, the vision is not just to delve deep into quantum mechanics but also to engineer quantum solutions, a leap that requires bridging the chasm between academic theory and industry applicability. On the other hand, CB2 seeks to advance the gains of its initial five years, translating applied research insights from diverse academic arenas into tangible products for industry stalwarts such as Ford, Amazon, and 3M. Each center aims to align with NSF’s overarching goals: for CB2, it’s becoming the vanguard of sustainable innovation, while for QCiT, it’s driving the quantum computing agenda forward.


CB2’s strategy is rooted in building on its commendable five-year legacy. With an arsenal of achievements, the center now looks to amplify its successes by aligning applied research insights from its four academic powerhouses with the needs of its vast industry consortium. From Amazon’s retail might to Ford’s automotive prowess, the transition of research from lab benches to production lines is of paramount importance. Simultaneously, QCiT’s strategic imperative is monumental – assisting Carnegie Mellon in pioneering an entire center dedicated to realizing their quantum aspirations. This involves not just harnessing quantum mechanics, but also developing tangible applications that resonate with industry demands.


At Rockridge®, our vantage position at this confluence of academia, industry, and government contracting, fortified by our rich attorney backgrounds in tech transfer, government contracting, and open innovation, empowers us to evaluate and advance these centers uniquely. As we reflect on our journey with QCiT and CB2, we remain resolute in our commitment to steer the helm of innovation, ensuring that the aspirations of these centers seamlessly dovetail with the grand vision of the NSF.

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