Posted: October 30, 2009

Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center announces new energy initiative

(Nanowerk News) The Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center has begun a new initiative for the development of new products and companies using advanced materials technologies within the energy industry. Recently, the Center won a $500,000 grant from Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority to support the effort.
The Center is providing federal matching funds with the state money using its existing Air Force Research Laboratories grant, along with matches from regional industry to create a $1.1 million program that will continue through December 31, 2010.
The Center will be using the funds to achieve two objectives:
  • to create innovative new ideas for solving the nation’s energy challenges, using advanced materials.
  • to create and support new researcher-industry partnerships to commercialize these new technologies.
  • To support the first objective, the Center, in partnership with The Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University, had planned two workshops this fall, billed as “Advanced Materials Research for Energy Applications.” The first event was held in State College this week and the second one is scheduled for November 3 and 4 at the University of Pittsburgh.
    The Center has received more than 37 abstracts on unique technologies from university researchers and start-up companies which are being showcased at the two events. Outcomes from the workshops will be new energy solutions in a wide range of topic areas including; solar, wind, storage, efficiency enhancements and technologies related to traditional energy generation, such as coal and natural gas.
    For the second objective of the program, the Center will provide grants to new or existing industry-university partnerships to accelerate the commercialization of the technologies to market. These grants will come in two forms; the first will be pre-commercialization grants to university or company researchers with a commercialization sponsor. These projects will support the final development of the technology. The second grant will be for small and large companies to commercialize their technologies for specific product applications.
    To provide strategic direction on how advanced materials research impacts new energy solutions, the Center has just completed a new study, entitled “Pennsylvania Opportunities in Advanced Materials for Energy.” The report has three key findings:
  • Pennsylvania is one of the leading states in the country for innovation in advanced materials for energy.
  • Pennsylvania already has significant industrial presence and employment in the advanced materials for energy sector.
  • The Commonwealth already has significant alignment between its industry base and research assets in almost all segments of the energy market.
  • The Center’s executive director, Dr. Alan Brown, commenting on the report’s findings, said, “The data demonstrates that Pennsylvania is very well positioned to leverage its assets in advanced materials to support a thriving energy sector, for both non-renewable and renewable sources, along with new green solutions. We are confident that our energy initiative, supported by the state, will facilitate innovation through new industry-researcher partnerships and build on our energy legacy.”
    The mission of the Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center is to promote and support the commercialization of nanomaterials research for new and enhanced products critical to the U.S. economy and manufacturing base. The center builds upon Pennsylvania’s excellence in advanced materials research, development and manufacturing, and it acts as a new model for a public-private partnership among government, universities, entrepreneurs, small and large companies to accelerate the transition from nanomaterials invention and innovation to new products and new companies.
    Source: Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center
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