Innovation takes collaboration. And sometimes innovation happens as an unintended consequence to a tangential project.

That’s what happened years ago when a group of scientists focused on nanocrystals were brought together by the National Science Foundation and Purdue University. They discovered a stronger, more flexible alternative to concrete. The group was recognized as a HIVE 100 Innovator in September because of the impact this innovation will have on housing.

The group, established in 2010 at Purdue by Robert Moon, materials research engineer at Renewable Bioproducts Institute at Georgia Tech and materials research engineer at the U.S. Forest Service, included Jeffrey Youngblood, professor, Purdue University’s School of Materials Engineering; Jason Weiss, director, Kiewit Center for Infrastructure and Transportation Research at Oregon State University; Pablo Zavattieri, associate professor of civil engineering, Purdue University; and Yizheng Cao, Purdue Ph.D. student and lead author of the group's findings, and now a scientist at Albany Molecular Research.

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