Science Market Update

$18.5M Research Grant to Start New Nanotechnology Center at UT Austin

Posted by BCI Staff on Mon, Oct 01, 2012

nanometer chart(Courtesy of the Center For Nano and Molecular Science, UTA)

The University of Texas, Austin is well-positioned to become one of the leading nanotechnology research centers in the U.S. with a newly-announced $18.5M NSF grant. The grant is intended to create a new NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center (NERC). The new research center will be known as the Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Mobile Energy Technologies (NASCENT) and will focus on mobile computing, nanomanufacturing, electromagnetic systems, and environmental and health sensing.

Nanotechnology is the structure and function of incredibly tiny machines: a nanometer is just a billionth of a meter. The idea of information coding on this micro scale is not new. Think of DNA as the way our bodies use nanotechnology everyday to function. Typically, engineered nanotechnoloy involves either laser etching (on materials) or liquid reactions. With nanotechnology scientists create mini machines that can do work too small for human hands like cell-level surgery or fighting cancer by targeting individual cells. In terms of creating our own unique machines, it is an up and coming area of research that is still in its infancy and it has a great potential to change the world around us.

According to William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin:

"Nanotechnology is one of the most important frontiers there is. Nanoscale breakthroughs will usher in inventions and solutions we can only dream of today, and thanks to the National Science Foundation and our academic and corporate partners, The University of Texas at Austin will be right at the cutting edge."

The NSF has allocated $55.5M to create 3 new engineering research centers (ERC's). Each center is expected to bridge the gap between research and industry through collaboration. The new NASCENT center at UTA will be the lead facility of among these three new NSF funded nanotechnology research centers and will be partnered with the University of California, Berkeley and the University of New Mexico.

The recent funding will fill a gap in UTA nanotech's current research capabilities. This new center will enable multidisciplinary, multi-department researcher teams to go after and solve difficult research questions. The NASCENT lab's goal will be to create an intellectual facility that will partner itself with private industry to speed technology from the lab to the marketplace in order to create new industries and companies fueled by the new research and innovation.

The NASCENT center will be located in the Microelectronics and Engineering Research Building at the J.J. Pickle Research campus. This new nanotechnology center will create 20 new engineering research labs and 4 new faculty positions. In the short term the center will focus on either purchasing or creating new nanotechnology equipment. The J.J Pickle research campus is an off campus research park.

The $50M Microelectronics and Engineering Research Building supplies more than 15,000 square feet of lab space, 12,000 square feet of clean room space, 30,000 square feet office space and is capable of housing 15 PI's and 120 graduate students. Its labs are state-of-the-art and equipped with fine-line lithography, sputter deposition, reactive-ion etching, ultrahigh purity process gases, a DI water system, rapid thermal processing systems, wet chemistry stations, and low pressure CVD for polysilicon, oxides, and nitrides.

To read more of our nanotechnology research blogs:


Also, next year on September 18, 2013, Biotechnology Calendar, Inc. will be on the University of Texas campus to hold our 3th annual  Austin BioResearch Product Faire™ event. This professional show is an excellent opportunity for life scientists and lab equipment specialists to come together and discuss new and better lab technologies to optimize every project.  The Austin BioResearch Product Faire™ is one of four tradeshows held in Texas each year; the other three are:

For more information on exhibiting at University Texas, Austin click the button below.  Explore our website and see the complete 2013 Show Schedule, then give one of our sales associates a call.

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Tags: Bioscience research, Bioresearch, University of Texas, nanotechnology, Southwest, 2012, UTAust, Austin, TX, BioResearch Frontline Event

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