Posted: January 17, 2008

Report highlights Ohio's nanotechnology strengths and growth

(Nanowerk News) According to a report published today by NorTech and the Nano-Network, Ohio exhibits significant strengths in nanotechnology research, development, commercialization and entrepreneurship; and Northeast Ohio, in particular, is a leader in nanotech innovation. Through better cross-pollination of Ohio's regions and sectors, the State has the potential to become an even greater national player in nanotechnology.
The report, entitled, "The Northeast Ohio Nanotechnology Report" is the result of a strategic planning exercise conducted by the NanoBusiness Alliance and funded by the Generation Foundation. The study examined the nanotechnology landscape in Northeast Ohio and Ohio overall as compared to peer regions (Central Ohio, greater Chicago, Detroit/Ann Arbor and Pittsburgh) as well as other Midwest/neighboring states (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Pennsylvania) in the areas of research funding and publications, academic patents, the concentration of small to mid size nanotechnology companies, the nanotech-related activity of large technology corporations, venture capital investment, and workforce.
From research to innovation to commercialization and entrepreneurship, Ohio and Northeast Ohio have many of the right ingredients to be considered nanotechnology leaders. In particular, the report shows that Ohio has rich a concentration of growing, small/mid-size nanotech companies; an impressive research publication record, complemented by large aggregate nanoscience/nanotechnology research expenditures; a significant concentration of active, public-market resourced companies hungry for new technology; a nexus of world-class polymer materials companies and a strong presence in the healthcare/biotechnology space, which are both areas of nanotech strengths; a growing venture capital community with an appetite for early stage investment; and an established and successful nanotechnology focused organization, the Nano-Network, which has been a catalyst for nanotech activity in Northeast Ohio and an attractor of national attention.
The report also cited specific challenges that Northeast Ohio and Ohio are facing, including: the lack of a collective statewide nanotech strategy which could better connect its regions and sectors; a relatively low rate of translating nanotech research into commercializable technologies; and the national venture capital community being largely unaware of the high level of nanotech activity and entrepreneurship within the State.
"We believe nanotechnology-enabled innovation and products will have a major impact on the global economy in the future. Keeping that in mind, we want to cultivate an ecosystem that fosters nanotechnology growth and commercialization in Ohio to ensure that we advance innovation and remain globally competitive," said Dorothy C. Baunach, President and CEO of NorTech.
The study also concluded that a priority of the Nano-Network, Northeast Ohio and Ohio should be consideration of a statewide nanotechnology initiative. In addition, the Nano-Network must continue to involve the Northeast Ohio region in a nanotech focused dialogue to stimulate collaborations and partnerships that engage top researchers in commercially focused R&D, include a cross-section of industrial sectors (e.g. materials and healthcare), and that bring together Ohio's large corporations with its small to mid-size nanotech companies. Finally, the Nano-Network must work to increase the visibility of Ohio's nanotechnology landscape, thereby attracting more investment, talent and technologies to the Northeast Ohio region and the State.
"Ohio has all the assets to be a powerhouse in nanotechnology, and a statewide initiative that will help to bring together Ohio's nanotech assets and stimulate further collaboration and commercialization will certainly benefit the State's institutions and companies. The Nano-Network has done an excellent job in serving Northeast Ohio's nanotechnology community, and it's my hope that we can soon have a similar industry-led entity coordinating nano activities for the entire state," said Scott Rickert, President and CEO, of Nanofilm.
"We are very encouraged by the results of the report. It paints a vibrant picture of Northeast Ohio's nanotechnology landscape and highlights how the Nano-Network can improve our efforts to accelerate nanotechnology research, development, commercialization and entrepreneurship in the region and the State," said Alexis Abramson, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Nano-Network, Senior Fellow at NorTech, and Assistant Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University.
Copies of the Northeast Ohio Nanotechnology Report can be obtained from or
About The Nano-Network:
The Nano-Network was formed by scientists, entrepreneurs and financiers to improve and expand nanotechnology research and commercialization activities and capacities in Northeast Ohio, and throughout the nation. The Nano-Network is one of the largest and best-known privately funded, "grass roots" nanotechnology organizations in the U.S. The Nano-Network is currently managed by NorTech (, a regional economic development organization focused on innovation, technology and entrepreneurship in Northeast Ohio. NorTech's relationship with the Nano-Network provides the group with structure, contacts and resources to further promote nanotechnology in Ohio and the United States.
About NorTech:
NorTech's technology and business leaders are strategic drivers of the region's technology-based economic development agenda. The organization works to align and leverage regional technology assets to build a globally competitive technology economy in Northeast Ohio. NorTech promotes and fosters technology, innovation, entrepreneurship throughout the region for the benefit of all citizens.
Source: NorTech, Nano-Network
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