Ames Laboratory and Korean Institute of Industrial Technology partner on rare-earth research

Contacts:                                                                            For Release: June 7, 2011
Debra Covey, Ames Laboratory, 515-294-1048
Breehan Gerleman Lucchesi, Public Affairs, 515-294-9750

Ames, IA -- The U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory announced today that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Korean Institute of Industrial Technology, or KITECH. The agreement promotes international collaboration in rare-earth research.

The memorandum establishes a framework for the Ames Laboratory and KITECH to work together to make advancements in rare-earth processing techniques, to transfer rare-earth discoveries to industrial applications and to educate the next generation of rare-earth scientists and engineers.

"International challenges call for international collaborations, and this Memorandum of Understanding brings together the principal centers of rare-earth research from South Korea and the United States,” said Ames Laboratory Director Alex King. “We look forward to collaborating on projects that benefit both nations.”

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King and KITECH President Kyoung-Hoan Na signed the agreement in Korea in April following the First International Workshop on Rare Metals, sponsored by the Korea Institute for Rare Metals, or KIRAM. King was an invited keynote speaker at the workshop. KIRAM officials also invited King to serve on its International Committee on Rare Metals.

“The importance of rare metals including rare earths is growing increasingly evident,” said Na.  “We are at the point where research and development in rare earths is of paramount importance.  I believe signing a memorandum of understanding with the Ames Laboratory is very meaningful, and I look forward to actual joint research and the exchange of technical information and technical professionals between Ames Lab and KITECH.

The Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science national laboratory operated by Iowa State University. The Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global problems.