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Posted: March 14, 2008

Governor Rendell announces $9.8 million for targeted nanotechnology projects statewide

(Nanowerk News) Governor Edward G. Rendell's drive to make Pennsylvania home to groundbreaking technological innovation will continue with $10 million in state investments in six projects that could ensure the commonwealth's place as a global leader in emerging technologies.
At a news conference today at Carnegie Mellon University, Governor Rendell said investments in research and commercialization of nanotechnology projects will stimulate economic development and boost job creation.
"Across the world, the competition to find the next great scientific advancement continues to grow," Governor Rendell said. "As a competitor in the global marketplace, it is Pennsylvania's responsibility to give our universities, companies and partners the best opportunities to be on the forefront of these advancements."
The Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority approved six projects through the Pennsylvania Initiative for Nanotechnology.
The six projects announced today are:
Lehigh University will receive $500,000 for the Lehigh Nanophotonics Technologies for research and transitional technology development for use in green energy nanophotonics, biomedical nanophotonics and silicon nanophotonics.
Lehigh University will also receive $900,000 for the PA Materials Research Science and Engineering Center which will focus on economic development, research and education in advanced materials synthesis, nanocharacterization, Interfacial Kinetic Engineering and Mesoscale Interface Mapping.
Penn State University was allocated $2.5 million for the Penn State Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology Research and Commercialization Program. The funds will be used for equipment to support nanofabrication and complex materials manufacturing, commercialization, and matching funds for research and seed grants.
In addition, Penn State University will receive $1.4 million for the Pennsylvania Nanotechnology Manufacturing Technology Partnership for educational improvements, development of new tools and educators, student recruitment and industry outreach. The partnership is a statewide collaboration between institutions of higher learning and industry leaders.
The Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeast Pennsylvania will receive $3.5 million for the Nanotechnology Institute (NTI). In conjunction with regional universities like Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania, the funds will be used to accelerate nanotechnology commercialization and company formation.
The Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center will receive $1 million to expand the Center's existing commercialization project activities, as well as begin a new outreach program to commercialize the nanotechnology research from Pennsylvania's universities with industry partners.
The Pennsylvania Initiative for Nanotechnology leverages Pennsylvania's regional academic, industrial and economic assets to improve research and technology at the atomic and molecular levels. Nanotechnology is used in fields such as biopharmaceuticals, therapeutics, advanced materials, agriculture, chemicals, electronics, energy, defense and transportation. Pennsylvania currently ranks seventh in the nation in nanotechnology-focused research and development, access to capital, commercialization, and company support. Since Governor Rendell took office, nearly $52 million has been allocated through the program.
Governor Rendell also discussed how the proven success of our current technology investment programs lends credibility to the reasoning behind creating additional programs, such as the Jonas Salk Legacy Fund.
"Five years ago, I took office with the promise of transforming the economic direction of the commonwealth and keeping it moving forward for the future," Governor Rendell said. "In order to do it, we must continue to invest in and develop those industries that will employ the next generation of Pennsylvanians."
As part of his Protecting Our Progress (http://www.state.pa.us/papower/lib/papower/08-09_budget/fact_sheet_--_pop. pdf) strategy, the Jonas Salk Legacy Fund would provide $1 billion to construct new facilities for health-related research across the state and help energize the research community around exciting new facilities in Pennsylvania. In the Governor's proposal, commonwealth tobacco settlement funds will cover 50 percent of development costs.
Presently, there are more than $750 million in construction projects that would start this calendar year if the Jonas Salk Legacy Fund is enacted.
In addition, Governor Rendell has proposed his $850 million energy independence strategy; a "Rebuilding Pennsylvania" plan to repair the state's aging infrastructure; replenishing funding for the business in our sites program; adding $10 million to the infrastructure development program; and, extending the keystone opportunity zone program.
The Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority is dedicated to fostering technological innovation, strengthening Pennsylvania'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. Since 2003, the authority has invested more than $242 million for projects across the state.
For additional information on any of the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority programs, visit http://www.newPA.com or call 1-866-466-3972.
Source: Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority