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CBES: Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science


The Center for Bio-Inspired Energy Science (CBES) is an Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC) funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. We seek to develop the next frontier in soft materials by designing structures that emulate many of the properties we see in biological systems. 

Our History

CBES, formerly known as the Non-Equilibrium Research Center (NERC), received initial EFRC funding in 2009. The organization was renamed to CBES in 2014 when it was awarded its first round of renewal funding. Another four-year term was approved in July 2018. 

Our Work

Our research program tackles the next big challenge in synthetic design of soft materials, namely learning how to encode in them molecularly the ability to transduce energy forms and even move autonomously in ways that are characteristic of living matter. We approach this bio-inspired challenge through chemical design and synthesis combined with engineering strategies to create novel functional systems. Learn about our research projects.

Developing synthetic soft matter that can behave in an autonomous way, the way you expect living things to behave, is an enormous scientific challenge. It requires integrating many fields of expertise.”

Samuel Stupp
CBES Director and Investigator