NEW YORK - A new joint public/private research center, the Copper Innovation Center (CIC), has been launched to foster scientific innovation and collaboration among various public and private entities, including federal, state, and local government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), research institutions and universities, and industry stakeholders.

The CIC is a joint initiative of the Copper Development Association, the information, education, marketing, and technical development arm of the copper, brass, and bronze industries in the United States, and the International Copper Association, a global organization that promotes the unique properties of copper and supports research and development worldwide.

The organizations said that the CIC will provide government and industry the opportunity to leverage the momentum of current research projects and stimulate research into new copper technologies. The Center will build upon ongoing work on five current projects, three focusing on die cast motor technology, which are being executed in conjunction with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory and two public health projects being carried out for the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC), a section of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC).

“The Copper Innovation Center represents our industry’s determination to take responsibility and lead the effort in developing new technologies that will benefit everyone from government to industry stakeholders to the general consumer,” said Andy Kireta Sr., president and CEO of the Copper Development Association.

The die cast copper motor projects currently underway focus on development in three areas: ultra-efficient power systems, lightweight motors for future industrial and defense applications, and the application of copper casting technology to develop more efficient pumps, like the one being installed at the large chill water pumping facility at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, N.C.

One of the public health projects, underway at the military barracks at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., is comparing the ability of antimicrobial copper heating and air conditioning components with the more commonly used aluminum components in controlling the growth of odor-causing bacteria and fungi in HVAC units.

The second public health project is fitting three hospital intensive care units with antimicrobial copper touch surfaces to determine copper’s efficacy at controlling organisms that cause hospital-acquired infections.

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Publication date:01/04/2010