PITTSBURGH, Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center recently announced that Alan G. Brown, Ph.D., has been selected to head the newly formed economic development initiative. The center, which was established after securing initial start-up funding from the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, will support nanomaterials commercialization activities throughout the commonwealth. The center shares its location with the Pittsburgh Technology Council, Catalyst Connection and the Doyle Center for Manufacturing Technology in the Pittsburgh Technology Center. Brown will serve as the center's executive director, overseeing the center's efforts to establish Pennsylvania as the first-to-market leader in products and technologies that involve nanomaterials. This effort will involve programs for attracting matching funding from the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) and its participating agencies. The majority of this funding will serve to advance the development of commercially promising research opportunities within the state's businesses and its academic research institutions. Initial funding for the center totals $1.6 million and includes a $1 million defense appropriation to the Air Force Research Laboratory that was secured by Congressman Mike Doyle. In addition, $200,000 was contributed from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development through the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority; $200,000 from the Heinz Endowments; $100,000 from the Pittsburgh Technology Council and a total of $100,000 from four initial corporate participants. The organizing companies include Alcoa, BayerMaterial Science, PPG Industries and U.S. Steel. Aside from the four initial corporate participants, research institutions include Carnegie Mellon University, The Pennsylvania State University and the University of Pittsburgh. Through the center, these companies and institutions are working together to develop a coordinated strategy that can provide leverage to increase federal investments in nanotechnology. Among the objectives is to foster strong working relationships with the 18 federal agencies that participate in the NNI, educating NNI organizations about southwestern Pennsylvania's capabilities in nanomaterials commercialization, while educating regional firms and universities about federal funding opportunities. "I believe that Pennsylvania's economic future depends greatly upon its ability to play a leading role in nanotechnology research and development," Congressman Doyle said today. "I've been able to secure important federal support for the Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center, and now we're counting on Alan to make the center a success." "We look forward to working with Alan to finalize the center's operating structure and to refine our technology road map for positioning Pennsylvania as the leading hub for nanomaterials research and commercialization," said Steven G. Zylstra, president and chief executive officer of the center. Brown joins the center from CAMP Inc. (formerly the Cleveland Advanced Manufacturing Program), an economic development organization dedicated to investment in emerging technologies in Ohio. He was vice president and chief technology officer at CAMP, where he assisted companies and entrepreneurs in adopting and supporting advanced technologies, including nanotechnology. Brown's former organization was funded under a State of Ohio Edison Technology Program. Prior to this he served as CAMP's director of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership center for eight years, and during the last two years he specialized in nanomaterials commercialization. Before that, he was senior program manager, a consultant, and new product introduction manager with Digital Equipment Corp. Previously, he was director of engineering at Unitrode Corp. in Worcester, Massachusetts; vice president of engineering at National Micronetics; senior project manager at Andersen Labs Inc., and he was a research and development scientist at RCA Canada. Brown received his Ph.D., in physics from the University of Toronto; he earned his masters degree in business from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts and his bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics from the University of Waterloo in Canada. The Pittsburgh Technology Council is among the first and is the largest regional technology trade association in the United States with nearly 1,400 member companies within its geographic territory of 13 counties in southwestern Pennsylvania. Its mission is to contribute to the success of the region's technology businesses, and it focuses on developing the economic strength of three industry clusters: advanced manufacturing, life science and information technology. Catalyst Connection, an affiliate organization of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, operates under contract with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (U.S. Commerce Department), as well as the Pennsylvania Industrial Resource Centers. The organization's mission is to advance the performance of the 13-county region's small- and medium-sized manufacturing and technology companies. The Doyle Center for Manufacturing Technology provides small manufacturing enterprises with state-of-the-art technology tools, training and best practices to improve the value, quality and responsiveness necessary in becoming vital contributors in the supply chains of the U.S. defense industry. For more information on the Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center, visit: http://www.pananocenter.org.
SOURCE Pittsburgh Technology Council