Governor Rendell: $5.7 Million Investment in Nanotechnology Will Build Upon Research, Commercialization Efforts

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Governor Edward G. Rendell today announced a $5.7 million investment that will expand upon university research efforts, bring new products to the marketplace, and educate the next generation of high-tech workers.

The funds, approved by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority at its quarterly meeting today, will help to strengthen Pennsylvania as a leading nanotechnology state and lay the groundwork for continued progress once the economy rebounds.

"Pennsylvania has been at the cutting edge of nanotechnology for years," Governor Rendell said. "Our high-tech sectors are a cornerstone of our growth, and these latest investments will go a long way in supporting our tech-based economy by giving our partners the resources they need to incubate innovative ideas, and get them to the marketplace."  

In 1999, Pennsylvania launched the Pennsylvania Initiative for Nanotechnology to reap the benefits that nanotechnology has to technology-based economic development.  The initiative is statewide and it combines the efforts of the Department of Community and Economic Development, the commonwealth's research universities, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, economic development organizations, and more than 125 companies.

The Pennsylvania Initiative for Nanotechnology focuses on enhancing nanotechnology transfer and commercialization and nanotechnology workforce development skills and provides strategic direction for initiative partners seeking financial resources from the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

Since its inception, the Pennsylvania Initiative for Nanotechnology has invested $103 million in nanotechnology research and commercialization partnerships and it has leveraged nearly $500 million in private investment. The projects approved today by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority are all initiative-supported.

The Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority is one of the nation's largest and most-replicated state technology development programs, providing a vehicle for investment in economic, community, and university-based innovation. Its programs are a key component in DCED's strategy and mission.

The Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority has leveraged more than $5 billion since 2003, helping to create more than 34,000 jobs.

For more information on BFTDA, the Pennsylvania Initiative for Nanotechnology, or the commonwealth's other community and economic development programs, visit www.newPA.com or call 1-866-466-3972.

Media contacts:

Jamie Yates, DCED; 717-783-1132

Michael Smith, Governor's Office; 717-783-1116


Editor's Note: Projects approved by the authority on Jan. 28 include:

  • The Pittsburgh-based Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center received $789,000 through the BFTDA university research grant program to continue commercialization project activities. The funding will also be used to expand outreach to private investors to increase growth of nano-based start-up companies and additional new nano-based product development at existing Pennsylvania companies.
  • Bethlehem-based Lehigh University received $300,000 through the BFTDA university research grant program for the Lehigh Nanophotonics Technologies program to incubate translational research and improve industrial and educational outreach programs at Lehigh University. Lehigh's focus will be on nanophotonics for green energy, nanophotonics for biomedical diagnostics and sensing and silicon nanophotonics.
  • Lehigh University also received $700,000 from the BFTDA university research grant program to support the PA Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, which will increase new technologies, expand research capabilities, commercialize innovative, high-value products, assist start-ups and KIZ companies, and provide outreach and curriculum development to ensure a flow of talented graduates for businesses that will depend upon nanotechnology.
  • The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA, in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, received $1.5 million from the BFTDA university research grant program to support the Nanotechnology Institute (NTI). NTI will emphasize commercialization of nanotechnology research inventions, entrepreneurship, and job creation and later-stage technologies with a near-to-market window with a specific focus on nanotechnology in drug discovery, drug delivery and healthcare.
  • Penn State University received $1.5 million through the BFTDA university research grant program to support the Penn State Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology Research and Commercialization Program.  The funding will be used to acquire instrumentation, expand nanotechnology research user facilities, provide research seed grants, and bolster technology commercialization efforts.
  • Penn State also received $1 million from the BFTDA university research grant program to support the Pennsylvania Nanofabrication Manufacturing Technology partnership (NMT). NMT works to transfer knowledge and expertise to other Pennsylvania educational institutions through the consortia-driven educational and workforce development program, and also supports commercialization through industry outreach including incumbent worker training and referring companies to technology commercialization resources. With the BFTDA funding, the NMT will improve the nanofabrication capstone semester; professional development of educators; and develop further industry outreach.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Office of the Governor



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