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About NTI

The Mission of the Nanotechnology Institute

The overarching mission of NTI is to focus on the transfer of nanotechnology discoveries and intellectual knowledge from universities to industry partners, and on the rapid application and commercialization of nanotechnology to stimulate economic growth through:

  • Multi-institutional and interdisciplinary research & development to facilitate the transfer and commercialization of discoveries and intellectual knowledge that support rapid application of nanotechnology to the life sciences sector and the creation of new enterprises around this technology
  • A Comprehensive Approach requiring the strategic alignment of six programmatic areas
    • Industry-focused research and development
    • Entrepreneurial business development and commercialization
    • Risk capital
    • Workforce development
    • Economic research
    • Community-of-interest networks

The NTI is seeded with a technology grant whose cumulative value is $16.3 million from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority, and is administered through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED).

How the NTI Works

Nanotechnology BWThe NTI facilitates the research, development and commercialization of nanotechnology’s real-world applications. By providing funding, intellectual property and commercialization assistance, the NTI expedites the rate at which revolutionary technologies are brought to market, changing our world and fueling our economy.

In addition, the NTI evaluates intellectual property for commercial potential, devising a commercialization strategy and negotiating licenses on behalf of the intellectual property owners and participating institutions.

The NTI breaks barriers to commercialization through facilitated licensing, sponsored research and company spinouts through partnering organizations. With its unique model, the NTI acts as a “single point of contact” that brings together academic and research institutions, corporate partners, private investors, government, and economic development organizations to harness the potential of this new scientific frontier.

The Promise of Nanotechnology

“The use of nanotechnology in consumer products and industrial applications is growing rapidly, with the products listed in the inventory showing just the tip of the iceberg.  How consumers respond to these early products — in food, electronics, health care, clothing and cars — will be a litmus test for broader market acceptance of nanotechnologies in the future.”

–Andrew D. Maynard
Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars


The NTI is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development and is funded by the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.