nti_article_03

Sponsored Research and Development

Sponsored Research Agreements (SRAs) are an important and widely used mechanism for industry sponsorship of directed research in university laboratories.

In this type of arrangement, one or more companies fund a university researcher to conduct a specific project with defined objectives of interest to the companies. Typically, SRAs are used to perform specific tasks on known potential products or developing technologies. The NTI plays a vital role by matching the development needs of its corporate members to university laboratories, and providing matching funds to accelerate its development.

The proposed work must advance the development of, demonstrate the commercialization potential of, or otherwise increase the commercial value or alternative use of nanotechnology-based initiatives.  These projects require demonstrating the progression of a technology towards commercialization, i.e., products.  They must show how the results will move the technology towards a marketable technology or product.  An executed Sponsored Research Agreement must be in place prior to any disbursement of matching funds.  In addition, the IP terms must be in the SRA must allow for potential revenue to the Institution(s).

Why Is Small So Big?

Nanotechnology deals with products and processes that are measured in almost unbelievably small increments called “nanometers”—one billionth of a meter.

At the nanoscale, materials differ from larger objects in their physical, chemical and biological properties; therefore, they lend themselves to new and improved materials, systems and devices. Nanotechnology is behind the development of such diverse advancements as:

  1. Drug Delivery
  2. Biofiltration and Separation sciences
  3. Improved coatings for medical devices

Thanks to rapid advances in this exciting new field, we now have the tools and talents to manipulate materials on the molecular scale—a technology literally changing the world as we know it.