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Home > Press > Rendell administration: more than $11.1M for nanontechnology

Abstract:
Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center receives $1 million from state's new Intiative for Nanotechnology

Rendell administration announces more than $11.1 million for nanontechnology initiatives

Pittsburgh, PA | Posted on August 23, 2006

Governor Edward G. Rendell today said that the commonwealth will provide more than $11.1 million to fuel cutting-edge nanotechnology and engineering research being conducted throughout Pennsylvania by world-renowned scientists and researchers.

The Governor said the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority approved the allocation of funding from its university program to support the Pennsylvania Initiative for Nanotechnology and related projects.

“The funding announced today will leverage Pennsylvania’s clusters of research, corporate and economic assets and will build upon the substantial groundwork already in place,” Governor Rendell said. “In the coming years, nanotechnology, which creates technology atom by atom, has the potential to transform virtually every industrial sector and will advance economic development throughout the state by providing jobs for Pennsylvania’s men and women.”

To demonstrate its leadership and commitment to the emerging nanotechnology industry, the commonwealth created the Pennsylvania Initiative for Nanotechnology (PIN). With more than $63 million in support to build out facilities and jump-start nanotechnology related programs, this investment has directly leveraged more than $70 million federal awards for a grand total of $133 million in investments.

The announcement was made today on the campus of Lehigh University by Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Yablonsky.

“The investments will bring the growth of new nanotech businesses, research and hi-tech, high-paying jobs to the commonwealth,” said Yablonsky. “This initiative not only leverages Pennsylvania’s clusters of research, corporate and economic assets, but builds upon substantial groundwork already in place.”

“Nanotech is not a Silicon Valley phenomenon, Pennsylvania is emerging as a nanotech leader, with important research, development and industrial initiatives already underway, supported by an expanding technical, business and financial infrastructure,” Yablonsky added. “We have the scientific star power, plus the political, industrial and financial support to own this industry.”

“Nanotechnology is the engine that will drive industrial change in the coming years,” Yablonsky said. “Because of the work we’ve already accomplished and the base we’ve created, the commonwealth has the opportunity to use this key technology sector to power significant industrial development and employment opportunities.”

Nanotechnology involves research and technology development at the atomic, molecular or macromolecular levels. Researchers work to develop new technologies in industries, such as biopharmaceuticals, therapeutics, advanced materials, agriculture, chemicals, electronics, energy, defense and transportation.

As a result of the governor’s allocation, The Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center in Pittsburgh will receive $ 1million for use in funding commercial applications of nanomaterials research.

“We are very gratified to be among the first recipients of grants from the Pennsylvania Initiative for Nanotechnology,” said the Center’s president and chief executive officer Steven G. Zylstra. This award will enable the Center to begin its work in earnest of soliciting proposals for commercializing nanomaterials research, and we will achieve these objectives through creating partnerships between researchers, entrepreneurs and established companies.

Pittsburgh companies that currently are represented on the Center’s board of directors include Alcoa, Bayer MaterialScience, Plextronics, PPG industries and U.S. Steel. Carnegie Mellon University and the Idea Foundry also are represented on the board.

The Center also announced its request for the first round of proposals for developing nanomaterials research for commercial applications. Through September, 2006, the Center is soliciting pre-proposal white papers from interested nanomaterials researchers at universities, government laboratories and companies. These white papers are intended to encourage novel new approaches and ideas for using nanomaterials in new processes or new products.

The Center's suggested technology areas of interest include tailorable dielectrics, optical response materials, adaptive structural materials, smart materials and thermal control materials.

Each white paper submission will be reviewed by the Center's technical advisory committee. The Center then will provide feedback and comments to all submitters. At the conclusion of the open solicitation period for white papers on September 31, the Center will begin an invitation for submission of full proposals.

The procedure for submitting a white paper, downloadable form and intellectual property rights information can be found at www.pananocenter.org or by contacting Dr. Alan Brown at abrown@pananocenter.org or at (412) 918-4205.

The Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization center provides assistance and funding to promising nanomaterials research which has a well defined defense or commercial application.

The projects that the center supports will:

  • establish southwestern Pennsylvania as a premier location for nanomaterials research and production.
  • link the region’s nano capabilities with the efforts of the National Nanotechnology Initiative.
  • Provide leverage nanomaterials-related research at Pennsylvania’s universities to develop commercially viable products.
  • strengthen Pennsylvania’s nanomaterials related companies to expand employment opportunities within the commonwealth.

The Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority is a state-funded network dedicated to fostering technological innovation, strengthening the commonwealth’s economy and creating and retaining good-paying jobs that require advanced skills. It also provides funding for a host of technology initiatives, and it supports four Ben Franklin Technology Partners throughout Pennsylvania that identify the most promising ventures and provide them with technical assistance and capital.

In addition to the Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center, the BFTDA also approved the following funding:

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) received $113,000 to continue to develop, test, and implement interdisciplinary nanotechnology modules in upper-division science courses for students who have completed the Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology (NMT) Capstone Semester at Penn State, and in lower-division courses to stimulate student interest in nanotechnology education and research.

Centre County

The Pennsylvania State University received $2.6 million for the NMT Partnership. The Partnership is developing, piloting, and refining hands-on nanotechnology learning activities, or kits, that can be delivered in secondary schools, and undergraduate institutions, and company locations or other sites across the state via remote access to the new teaching clean room at Penn State.

The Pennsylvania State University also received $2.5 million for its Nanotech Research and Commercialization Project. The Nanotech R&C will used $1,660,000 to support pioneering research on chemical nanofabrication and molecular nanotechnology. Of this, $660,000 will be used to meet the state’s commitment to provide matching funds to support the Penn State MRSEC. The remaining $1 million will be used to support acquisition and installation of chemical nanofabrication and molecular nanotechnology research equipment and instrumentation.

Northampton County

Lehigh University received $900,000 for the Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC). Under this program Lehigh and Carnegie Mellon University have developed a strong infrastructure in nanocharacterization, with major enhancements to programs and facilities that support interdisciplinary research and interactions with large and small companies across the commonwealth.

Lehigh University also received $500,000 for Nanophotonics which will support initiatives in nanophotonics technology at Lehigh that will include both research and enhancements in industrial and educational outreach programs. Lehigh will use this funding to support their infrastructure in optical and optoelectronic technologies, advanced optical, electronic and optoelectronic materials, and a host of related advanced nanocharacterization and nanotechnologies.

Philadelphia County

The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of SEPA received $3.5 million for the Nanotechnology Institute. The goal of the Nanotechnology Institute (NTI) is the commercialization of life-sciences targeted, nanotechnology-based, or nanotechnology-enabled, products as a basis for sustained economic development in Southeastern PA and the Commonwealth. The target of the program is industry: startups, small and medium enterprises and large corporations.

For information on Governor Rendell’s economic stimulus package including the Pennsylvania Initiative for Nanotechnology visit www.newPA.com or call 1-866-GO-NEWPA (1-866-466-3972).

####

Contact:
Kevin Lane
Phone: (412) 687-0200, ext. 247
Fax: (412) 687-5232
klane@pghtech.org

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