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Home > Press > Governor says nanotechnology will brighten Oregon's future

Abstract:
State stands on "threshold of miracles" and global leadership in high tech

Governor says nanotechnology will brighten Oregon's future

Portland, OR | Posted on February 14, 2006

Governor Ted Kulongoski inspected the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) at Portland State University (PSU) Monday, and told a crowd of scientists, engineers and faculty that Oregon is poised on the "threshold of miracles" made possible by an important new technology - nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology is the development and use of devices that have a size of only a few nanometers, which is smaller than many molecules.

"Nanotechnology will help us bolster our economy and extend the hope of prosperity to more people," the Governor said. "We will create new jobs for Oregonians - well-paying jobs in clean industries. We will position Oregon to take advantage of even greater opportunities in industries that have not yet been born."

The Governor led a roundtable discussion with ONAMI board members and faculty to talk about ONAMI's future, then participated in an inspection tour of the Center for Electron Microscopy and Nanofabrication on the PSU campus. After viewing a demonstration of PSU's two electron microscopes, the most advanced in the region, the Governor held a press conference with University of Oregon president Dave Frohnmayer, Oregon State University president Ed Ray, and Lindsay Desrochers, PSU's Vice President of Finance and Administration.

"Nanotechnology will play a role in solving the energy crisis by giving us ways to create, store and transport renewable energy," the Governor said. "That's worth hoping for in an age when we must rely on other nations for a fuel that pollutes our air and contributes to global warming."

He also said that nanotechnology will play a role in making materials stronger and more versatile, which is important to a world running low on critical building materials.

The PSU branch of ONAMI has begun work on research and education in nanoscale science and technology by developing particle-beam methods for fabricating and examining small structures. The Center for Electron Microscopy and Nanofabrication is also interested in carbon nanotubes, which have potential applications as biosensors, electron emitters and nanotransistors.

In 2003, Governor Kulongoski led a team that mustered $20 million in capital and another million in operating funds to start the ONAMI effort on Oregon's research campuses. Last year he place ONAMI among his highest priorities, and asked the legislature to invest $7 million more to strengthen ONAMI's capacity, which won legislative approval.

Just last week, the federal government announced its intention to invest $8 million more in ONAMI to conduct defense-related work.

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See also the complete transcript of the Govenor's speech at PSU.

Media Contacts:
Lonn Hoklin
503.378.6169

Anna Richter Taylor
503.378.6496

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