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Posted: October 2, 2008
DARPA and technology fund award $9.7 million grant to atomically precise manufacturing consortium
(Nanowerk News) Zyvex Labs today announced
the award of a $9.7M program funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency) and Texas' ETF (Emerging Technology Fund). The goal of
this effort is to develop a new manufacturing technique that enables
"Tip-Based Nanofabrication" to accelerate the transition of nanotechnology
from the laboratory to commercial products. Starting with the construction
of 'one-at-a-time' atomically precise silicon structures, the Consortium
initially plans to develop atomically precise, 'quantum dot' nanotech-based
products in volume at practical production rates and costs. Harnessing this
capability will position the United States and Texas with the fundamental
technology to develop next-generation quantum dot applications for military
and commercial applications such as advanced communications, metrology, and
quantum computers. The spin-off nanomanufacturing capabilities from that
early application will result in revolutionary nanotech products in
The charter industry APMC members are Zyvex Labs, General Dynamics,
Integrated Circuit Scanning Probe Instruments, and Vought Aircraft; while
Texas Higher Education members include the University of Texas at Dallas,
the University of Texas at Austin and the University of North Texas. Other
Higher Education members are the University of Central Florida and the
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Government and non-profit
consortium members are the US National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) and the North Texas Regional Center for Innovation &
Commercialization (NTXRCIC). Other consortium members of all three types
are expected to be added as the program progresses into later stages.
"We are extremely proud to receive this award," said John Randall,
Ph.D., Vice President of Zyvex Labs and Principal Investigator for the APMC
research program. "The technologies developed by this program will be the
first to allow robust three-dimensional solid structures to be created with
atomic precision under computer control. While, historically, this falls in
line with ongoing efforts throughout human history to improve manufacturing
precision, it is revolutionary because it will achieve unprecedented
precision by taking advantage of the quantized nature of matter."
"DARPA is investing in breakthrough approaches to nanomanufacturing.
Our goal is to develop the capability to fabricate nanostructures in such a
way that we can control position, size, shape and orientation at the
nanometer scale, which is not possible today," said Tom Kenny, DARPA
Program Manager. "If we can demonstrate this, we will be able to truly
unlock the potential capabilities of nanotechnology."
To almost double the resources supporting the APMC, the $5M in DARPA
research funding is 'matched' by the Texas ETF of $4.7M to achieve a total
program size of $9.7M. The North Texas Regional Center for NTXRCIC will
serve as the 'fiscal agent' to administer the APMC funding from the ETF;
and will also sponsor the "APMC Advisory Board" of senior industry and
scientific experts that will direct the overall strategy and early
commercialization activities of the APMC.
"As the regional representative for the ETF, we are excited about our
role in the APMC consortium," said R. Mike Lockerd, Executive Director of
the NTXRCIC. "Under the leadership of Zyvex Labs, APMC combines business,
scientific and academic excellence; and we are confident that this
consortium will develop ground-breaking technologies which may redefine how
we create, manufacture and commercialize future products in Texas."
"This is a most exciting program and is very well aligned with my
group's goals," said Richard M. Silver, a Program Manager in the
Nanomanufacturing Program at the National Institute for Standards and
Technology (NIST). "It is one of those unique programs where the basic work
in advanced scientific institutions is aligned with industry toward a
revolutionary and technologically important goal."
"We are both thrilled and proud to be an integral part of the
innovative APMC consortium project," said Robert M. Wallace, PhD, the
principal investigator and Professor of Materials Science and Engineering,
Electrical Engineering and Physics at the University of Texas at Dallas.
"The program taps our extensive expertise and capability to manipulate
silicon surfaces at the atomic scale and provides a conduit for our
research to be translated into a viable nanotechnology product. This
industry-university-government partnership supporting the consortium
presents us with a unique opportunity to impact Texas and the world of
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is the central
research and development organization for the Department of Defense (DoD).
It manages and directs selected basic and applied research and development
projects for DoD, and pursues research and technology where risk and payoff
are both very high and where success may provide dramatic advances for
traditional military roles and missions.
About the Texas ETF
The $200M ETF was initially enacted by the Texas Legislature in June
2005 to expedite the commercialization of technologies and creation of
high-tech jobs in Texas; and one component of the fund is used to match
federal research funds.
About the North Texas RCIC
The NTXRCIC serves the North Texas Region to identify, evaluate and
provide matching funding for new technology projects with the aim of
increasing cooperation between industrial, financial, and academic
entities, and of creating new commercial entities based on those
technologies to establish new technical industry sectors in the region.
About the APMC
Zyvex Labs leads the APMC consortium, which is comprised of government,
university, and industry partners. The consortium was formed to maximize
the commercialization opportunities for the technology developed in this
program. Consortium members include: General Dynamics, ICSPI, NIST, Vought
Aircraft, Zyvex Labs, the University of Central Florida, the University of
Illinois, the University of North Texas, the University of Texas at Austin,
and the University of Texas at Dallas, and the North Texas RCIC.