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Posted: September 21, 2007
National nanotechnology network will link business, research, government sectors
(Nanowerk News) The Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, its partner centers, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announce the launch of the National Nanomanufacturing Network (NNN), a community-driven open access network that facilitates collaboration and disseminates information among the nanomanufacturing research, education and development community. Funded by the NSF as part of the National Nanotechnology Initiative, the network will serve as an important catalyst for the advancement of nanomanufacturing in the U.S.
The website for the new network is http://www.nanomanufacturing.org.
“The innovative developments emerging from U.S. nanotechnology research centers represent an immensely valuable national resource—one that is well poised to ignite a new wave of manufacturing vitality in our country,” says NNN Director Mark Tuominen. “The NNN will provide the necessary catalyst by assisting nanomanufacturing stakeholders through networking, collaborations, education and information exchange.”
Nanotechnology’s potential economic and societal benefits can only be realized through manufacturing. Nanomanufacturing is an essential step in translating proof-of-concept nanoscience experiments into products. For American competitiveness in nanoscale manufacturing, the scientific, engineering, business and government communities must work together. Nanomanufacturing research and development requires the collaboration of interdisciplinary partners, information exchange and the integration of diverse manufacturing techniques. The National Nanomanufacturing Network will provide connections to nanomanufacturing centers, projects and experts from academic, industrial and government institutions.
Mihail Roco, Senior Advisor for Nanotechnology at the NSF, stated, “This network will be in national service, exploring the most important research and education directions at the national level, promoting transformative ideas for applying nanoscale science and engineering, and making long-term connections between researchers, educators, industry, government laboratories, professional societies, NGOs and other stakeholders.”
The new network will bring together diverse expertise and technologies, convene workshops on emerging nanomanufacturing issues, offer educational opportunities in nanomanufacturing, and host an online information clearinghouse. The NNN’s InterNano clearinghouse, scheduled to launch in November 2007, will provide information on nanomanufacturing centers, experts and resources, nanomanufacturing processes, nanostructured materials, best practices, events, and a database of nanomanufacturing research information.
UMass Amherst’s Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing hosts and coordinates the NNN with funding from the NSF, in alliance with NSF-funded nanomanufacturing research centers based at Northeastern University, the University of California at Berkeley, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. The network includes participation from other NSF research centers and from other federal agencies such as the National Institute for Standards and Technology, the Department of Defense, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health, and other organizations. An open invitation for participation is extended to potential partners at http://www.nanomanufacturing.org.
James Watkins, Director of the Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing, says “Launching and facilitating the National Nanomanufacturing Network is a vitally important component of our research center. The network will provide an efficient way for academic research centers, industry and government to cooperate, advance nanomanufacturing research and development, and help build a strong community of practice.”