IBM receives Swiss Tell Award for investment in new nanotechnology center

(Nanowerk News) The Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion, the Swiss federal agency that assists companies expanding internationally, bestowed its annual Tell Awards to IBM, Intermune, Kayak, Maxwell Technologies and Procter & Gamble. The awards, named for legendary Swiss hero William Tell, honor U.S. companies for significant recent investment projects in Switzerland. IBM received the award for the Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center.
Tell award ceremonyInaugurated on 17 May 2011, the Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center is the latest extension to IBM's research lab in Zurich. The facility is the centerpiece of a 10-year strategic partnership in nanoscience between IBM and ETH Zurich where scientists research novel nanoscale structures and devices to advance energy and information technologies. The building represents an investment of $60 million in infrastructure costs and an additional $30 million for tooling and equipment which, including the operating costs, are shared by the partners. As the laudation states: The center demonstrates IBM's "magnitude of innovation and reinvestment in Switzerland".

Dr. Matthias Kaiserswerth, Director and Vice President of IBM Research Zurich, who received the award at Bloomberg's headquarters in New York yesterday said, "IBM's investment in the Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center is based on open collaboration. Partnerships with leading organizations, including ETH Zurich and the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (Empa), are at the foundation of our success today and in the future."

With this new facility, IBM strengthens its commitment in Switzerland to foster leading talent and promote innovation in nanotechnology.
The Binnig and Rohrer Nanotechnology Center offers a cutting-edge, collaborative infrastructure for advancing nanoscience. It is part of IBM Research Zurich, which was opened in 1956 as IBM's first research laboratory outside the U.S. The nanotechnology center features a cutting-edge exploratory 950 m2 cleanroom fabrication facility and six uniquely designed so-called "noise-free labs" which shield extremely sensitive experiments from any disturbances, such as mechanical vibrations, electro-magnetic fields, temperature fluctuations and acoustic noise.
The center is named for Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer, the two IBM scientists and Nobel laureates who invented the scanning tunneling microscope at IBM Research Zurich in 1981, thus enabling researchers to see atoms on a surface for the first time. In 1986 Binnig and Rohrer received the Nobel Prize in Physics for this achievement, widely acknowledged for laying the foundation for nanotechnology research.
In the facility, scientists and engineers from IBM,ETH Zurich and Empa will pursue joint and independent projects, ranging from exploratory research to applied and close-to-market projects. Three ETH professors and their teams have already moved into the new building and will conduct part of their research in nanoscience on a permanent basis. In addition, recently IBM and Empa have partnered on a new, state-of-the-art transmission electron microscope (TEM), which will be installed in the noise free labs in the coming months. The TEM will be the first of its kind in Europe.
*This investment figure is based on an average conversion rate with Swiss Francs (CHF) between April 2008 - April 2011.
Source: IBM
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