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Posted: July 24, 2008

Russion nanotechnology mission at Albany NanoTech

(Nanowerk News) A delegation of scientists from Russia visited Albany NanoTech Wednesday, underscoring the high-tech facility's growing presence on the international stage.
The group included Leonid Melamed, chief executive officer of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies, an organization started last year by the Russian government to develop nanotechnolgy in the country.
Nanotechnology is technology developed on the atomic and molecular level. Currently, its most profitable use is in computer-chip manufacturing, with companies like IBM Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. using it to form billions of transistors on a single processor.
The Russian scientists got an up-close look at the $4 billion Albany NanoTech facility, home to the University at Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. The NanoCollege has created lab partnerships at the facility with companies like IBM and AMD (Advanced Micro Devices Inc.) to do cutting-edge computer-chip research that goes right into manufacturing.
The group toured the college's various clean rooms and labs, where college professors and students work side by side with industry agents, many of them competitors. Albany was the third stop of a tour of nanotech facilities throughout the United States that began July 17 in Maryland.
Sergey Kalyuzhnyi, a member of the board of directors of the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies and a biotechnology expert, was in the group.
"I've never seen something similar before," he said. "What is interesting is that I see for the first time the very close collaboration between the companies and the college. Probably it is the model of future development in this field."
Michael Fancher, the college's vice president for strategic development and economic outreach, took the delegation on a two-hour tour of Albany NanoTech. As he spoke, an aide for Melamed translated the remarks into Russian and also posed questions from Melamed.
There was only one slight hiccup: Although they had been warned in advance that video and photography was strictly limited in the clean room areas, a videographer for the delegation and a camera crew from the Russian television station RTVi in New York City were escorted away from the tour by college officials and sent to the main lobby for violating the rules. The TV station was subsequently allowed to conduct interviews in the lobby.
"We take every precaution to protect the interests of our industrial partners on site," NanoCollege spokesman Steve Janack said. "Anyone who does not adhere to the policies would be asked to leave."
Fancher said the tour and a subsequent closed-door meeting with the scientists was very helpful to the college.
"The Russian government is spending $10 billion on nanotechnology, and they want to have a strong presence in research, development and commercialization," he said. "Partnerships with well-funded programs and centers globally are important for the college's education and economic development missions."
Source: Times Union (Larry Rulison)