(CBS) — Research on solar and other environmentally-friendly energy sources will have a new home at Argonne National Labs, reports WBBM’s Nancy Harty.

The energy sciences building at Argonne will provide the space and equipment needed for scientists to work together says the labs director Eric Isaacs.

“I want to invent a better battery. If you want to invent a battery that will take an automobile 400 miles instead of 40, you need physicists, you need chemists, you need engineers all under one roof. This building, the energy sciences building, will provide that roof,” said Isaacs.

Scientists from academia and industry will be able to utilize the 100,000-square-foot space, along with Argonne staffers. It was built in three years with $95 million in federal funds.

Congressman Bill Foster, who worked at Fermilab as a physicist, says in the time it took to construct the building, federal spending on research and development has dropped 16 percent.

“What we’re doing here is we are repairing one of the rusty pieces of the innovation pipeline in our country,” said Foster.

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