Thursday, 14 December 2017

Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research

EPSCoRThe Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) is a science and technology research and development program within seven federal agencies.

The importance of EPSCoR lies in the distribution of R&D funds to talented researchers at universities and nonprofit organizations in areas that have historically not received significant Federal R&D funding.

These areas include 18 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico .EPSCoR helps researchers, institutions and regions improve the quality and capability of their research in order to compete more effectively for non-EPSCoR research funds. EPSCoR promotes economic development within Puerto Rico by fostering collaborative agreements between industry and academia.By enhancing research capability, developing industry-university collaborations and improving the abilities of our human resources, EPSCoR funding allows students and residents of participating jurisdictions to enjoy access to high-quality education, frontline research and jobs that become available with an active and competitive R&D base.

The PR-EPSCoR project, coupled with the development of Puerto Rico ’s scientific community, will enable the island to become an international center of research capable of stimulating its own socio-economic development and infrastructure. Since its inception in 1985 through 2002, PR-EPSCoR has received over $70 million.

Institute for Functional Nanomaterials

IFNThe Institute for Functional Nanomaterials is a research centre in the field of functional nanomaterials.

It is managed by the Resource Center for Science and Engineering and has active participants from four campuses of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR).

The institute was established in 2007 with a $9 USD million NSF grant over 3 years in the reserve round, and an institutional contribution from UPR in the amount of $3.9 USD million over the three-year duration of the grant.

Puerto Rico NASA EPSCoR

EPSCoR-NasaThe new NASA Vision for Space Exploration calls for the development of reliable, efficient, compact power sources, which are of critical importance in support of crewed missions to the Moon for extended periods of time, and to eventually send crewed missions to Mars with a real chance of survival and return.

Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and fuel cells address the NASA priority of developing new, efficient, compact, portable, and environmentally friendly energy sources. Achieving a high degree of efficiency and durability that meets the needs and specifications of the Space Exploration Program, is however, a task yet to be accomplished.

Our approach to making significant progress in this area consists in developing novel nanostructured electrochemical materials, understanding their electrochemical behavior under actual device operating conditions, and utilizing this knowledge to enhance their electrochemical properties.

The University of Puerto Rico will undertake an integrated experimental/theoretical research program to address functional issues relevant to the design, modeling, fabrication, and characterization of nanoscale materials suitable for enhanced rechargeable lithium ion batteries and fuel cells. Medullar to this program is the development of proof-of-concept and up scaled lithium battery and fuel cell prototypes in collaboration with the Electrochemistry Brach at NASA Glenn Research Center.

The research will focus on applied issues of nanostructured cathode, anode, and polymer electrolyte materials relevant for their usage in lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells. The research efforts are aimed at finding the best-performing, robust, most economical, and environmentally friendly nanostructured anode-electrolyte-cathode systems, which would also yield a significant gain in charge capability, along with higher cycleability with stability under harsh conditions. The proposed research is currently a forefront scientific field and our main objective is advancing its technological realization in the context of Space Exploration.

The strong feasibility of this project arises from its multidisciplinary approach and synergistic collaboration with the pertinent device developers at Glenn Research Center from the early stages of nano material selection and synthesis, through prototype testing, until accomplishing a Technology Readiness Level appropriate for technology transferring to NASA scientists and engineers for further refinement.