Posted: December 24, 2007

Oregon nanotechnology receives $7.7 million

(Nanowerk News) Thinking small — getting better performance from less material — was a big budget item for Oregon in a recent defense appropriations bill signed by President Bush.
The Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute, which is headquartered at the Hewlett-Packard campus in Corvallis and has several Oregon State University scientists among its ranks, has $7.7 million in new federal funding for continuing projects.
While the collaborative group has received $37 million in state funding since 2003 — including $9 million in the current biennium — it previously had received only $1.9 million in direct funding from the federal government, said Skip Rung, ONAMI’s executive director.
“It’s a huge deal,” he added.
“We’ve got some technology here that’s important to the Department of Defense,” said Ron Adams, dean of the OSU College of Engineering, and a member of the ONAMI board of directors.
The funding will pay for research into miniature tactical energy systems, safer nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing and for measuring devices.
“The need for new measuring devices is pressing,” Rung said. “Things have to be measured in the scale of molecules. Old techniques that were being used for some time are being proven inadequate.”
Miniature tactical energy systems could include using logistics fuel to generate electricity and replace batteries, producing fuels in the field from available materials and several other projects.
The federally funded research is expected to have both military and commercial applications.
About 150 scientists from OSU, the University of Oregon, Portland State University and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory collaborate through ONAMI.
“We enjoy the rivalry on the field … but when it comes to research, collaboration is the way to go,” Rung said. “We have probably the best green nanotechnology organization in the country, and therefore, in the world.”
“When you put that together, we’ve got a very strong brand. The collaboration is so powerful,” Adams said.
Source: Democrat Herald (Kyle Odegard)
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