One of the most critical stages of technology commercialization is creating a prototype. When a technology is relatively new and groundbreaking, as nanotechnology is, the ability to secure prototyping/fabrication/characterization services is extremely limited.
The Nanotechnology Institute (NTI) is sponsoring a rapid prototyping and characterization network, the PA RapidNanoNetTM – focused on transforming early-stage ideas and inventions based on or enabled by nanotechnology into prototypes of commercial products. This network of facilities and experts aim to reduce the time and expense of prototype construction by enabling access to specialized facilities, instrumentation, equipment and expertise required for design, simulation, synthesis, fabrication, and characterization of nanotechnology-based products.
Grant Applications for the PA RapidNanoNetTM can be found here: http://nanotechinstitute.org/funding
PA RapidNanoNetTM grants will provide funding to PA companies to use this network of facilities to move their technology towards commercialization. Activities will focus on industry-based developers of nano-innovations using regional providers and experts of advanced nanotechnology instrumentation and capabilities. Where necessary, the NTI will assist companies in identifying appropriate facilities.
The NTI has assembled ten facilities that have agreed to participate in this network. Together these facilities represent one of the most comprehensive and extensive facility networks in the country. They occupy over 25,000 ft2 of space, providing cutting edge services with over 30 expert staff to assist researchers and companies. One is located at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the other facilities are located at six universities across Pennsylvania:
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:
- Drug Delivery
- Biofiltration and Separation sciences
- 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.