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The U.S. DOE announced 1/09 that a team led by Ames Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, has been selected for an award of up to $120 million over five years to establish an Energy Innovation Hub that will develop solutions to the domestic shortages of rare earth metals and other materials critical for U.S. energy security. The new research center will be named the Critical Materials Institute (CMI). The new Hub will focus on technologies that will enable us to make better use of the materials we have access to as well as eliminate the need for materials that are subject to supply disruptions. These critical materials are essential in modern clean energy technologies – such as wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles, and energy-efficient lighting.