The Robert A. Welch Foundation has committed $100 million to Rice University, the largest grant in the Foundation’s 65-year history, to establish The Welch Institute, as part of a sweeping strategic partnership focused on advanced materials research.
Located on the campus of Rice University in Houston, TX, The Welch Institute will combine fundamental chemistry and materials science with the latest in machine learning and artificial intelligence to accelerate the discovery, design and manufacture of the next generation of materials with applications to new energy systems, sustainable water, space systems, telecommunications, manufacturing, transportation, security and more. The Welch Institute will be the first such effort in which the goals, the scientific strategy, the scientific team, the facilities and equipment, are constituted at the outset to drive the design of advanced materials.
The goal of The Welch Institute is to attract top researchers from around the world to collaborate with Rice University’s internationally-renowned faculty and scientific resources, making the Institute a center of intellectual discovery, innovation and transformation in advanced materials. The Institute is governed by an independent Board of Directors and will be advised by a Scientific Advisory Board.
Sixty-five years ago, Robert A. Welch said, “I have long been impressed with the great possibilities for the betterment of mankind that lay in the field of research in the domain of chemistry.” A half century earlier, Rice University’s first President, Edgar Odell Lovett, proclaimed that there should “be no upper limit” to the ambitions of this Rice University.
Those two visions unite as one in the new Institute.