Archive for January, 2010

US Commerce Dept’s NIST Invests up to $71 Million-9 Nanotechnology Award Winners

Posted on January 29th, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

On December 15, 2009, The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced up to $71 million in funding through its Technology Innovation Program (TIP) for 20 new cost-sharing projects that will support innovative, high-risk research in new technologies that address critical national needs. The new projects will include developing unmanned, hovering aircraft for bridge inspections, a high-speed sorting system for recycling aerospace metals, and nanomaterials for advanced batteries, among other projects. The awards will be matched by other funding sources to achieve nearly $150 million in new research over the next two to five years.

“President Obama is leading an effort to drive economic growth and solve national problems by deploying a 21st Century economy,” U.S. Commerce Deputy Secretary Dennis Hightower said. “These new projects will develop new technology and material that will play a critical role in modernizing infrastructure and developing the manufacturing sector across the country.”

TIP is a merit-based, competitive program that provides cost-shared funding for research projects by single small- or medium-sized businesses or by joint ventures that also may include institutions of higher education, nonprofit research organizations and national laboratories.

The 20 projects announced today were selected from a TIP competition announced on March 26, 2009, seeking projects addressing two broad areas of national interest:

  • The practical application of advanced materials including nanomaterials, advanced alloys and composites in manufacturing
  • The monitoring or repair of major public infrastructure systems, including water systems, dams and levees, and bridges, roads and highways.

TIP focused on developing new materials based on nanotechnology, advanced composites and so-called “superalloys” or smart materials – and expanding the capacity to incorporate these materials into new products – because many experts consider accelerated development of these advanced materials critical to potential growth in U.S. manufacturing.

As a nonregulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, NIST promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life. Additional information on the Technology Innovation Program is available at

See the list of our 9 Nanotechnology 2009 TIP project awards and links to additional details for each below.

Technology Innovation Program 2009 R&D Awards: Advanced Materials in Manufacturing

Production of Low-Cost, High-Quality Metallic and Semiconducting Single Wall Carbon Nanotube Inks

  • Brewer Science, Inc. (Rolla, Mo.) (Lead)
  • Southwest Nanotechnologies, Inc. (Norman , OK)

Functionalized Nano Graphene for Next-Generation Nano-Enhanced Products

  • Angstron Materials, LLC (Dayton, Ohio)

Transformational Casting Technology for Fabrication of Ultra-High Performance Lightweight Aluminum and Magnesium Nanocomposites

  • The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System (Madison, Wis.) (Lead)
  • Eck Industries, Inc. (Manitowoc, Wis.)
  • Nanostructured & Amorphous Materials, Inc. (Houston, Texas)
  • Oshkosh Corporation (Oshkosh, Wis.)

High-Speed, Continuous Manufacturing of Nano-Doped Magnesium Diboride Superconductors for Next-Generation MRI Systems

  • Hyper Tech Research, Inc. (Columbus, Ohio)

PRINT Nanomanufacturing: Enabling Rationally Designed Nanoparticles for Next-Generation Therapeutics

  • Liquidia Technologies, Inc. (Durham, N.C.)

Silicon Nanowire Production for Advanced Lithium-Ion Batteries

  • Amprius, Inc. (Menlo Park, Calif.)

High Volume Production of Nanocomposite Electrode Materials for Lithium-Ion Batteries

  • A123Systems, Inc. (Ann Arbor, Mich.)

High-Risk, Low-Cost Carbon Nanofiber Manufacturing Process Scale-Up

  • eSpin Technologies, Inc. (Chattanooga, Tenn.)

Development and Scale-Up of Nanocomposites with Sub-10nm Particles

  • Pixelligent Technologies, LLC (College Park, Md.) (Lead)
  • Brewer Science, Inc. (Rolla, Mo.)

Kudos to our 9 Nanotechnology Community Award Winners.


Vincent Caprio “It’s Green, It’s Clean, It’s Never Seen – That’s Nanotechnology”
Executive Director
NanoBusiness Alliance

NanoBusiness Alliance-US International Trade Commission Hearing-DC, Feb. 9th

Posted on January 25th, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

For our NanoBusiness Alliance Members and Nanotechnology Community at large, I would like to share an opportunity in regard to your export strategy. I will be in Washington, DC on February 9th to attend the U.S. International Trade Commission hearing.

The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has asked the U.S. International Trade Commission (Commission) conduct a 3-phase study looking at the ability of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) to export and what trade barriers they may face. In its request letter to the Commission, the USTR stated that “As U.S. trade policies strive to open markets, enforce trade agreements, and support the healthy expansion of trade, it is critical that SMEs benefit as much as possible from exporting goods and services to foreign markets and contribute as much as they can to overall U.S. export growth. To achieve this goal, certain constraints to exports by these firms may need to be removed.” The Commission would like to hear from nanotechnology SMEs who export about what barriers they may have faced in exporting, if the barriers would be considered to be disproportionate to the SMEs versus their larger counterparts, and the role SMEs may play in regard to indirect exports.

Companies and trade organizations have three ways to contribute: (1) they can appear at the hearings (Washington, DC: February 9, 2010, Courtroom B, USITC Building, 500 E Street SW; St. Louis, MO: March 10; and Portland, OR: March 12) but must file requests to appear by the deadline (e.g., January 26, 2010, for the Washington, DC, hearing); (2) they can file a written submission (deadline March 26, 2010), in lieu of or in addition to appearing at the hearing; and (3) they can contact Commission staff. If you have any questions then, please contact Elizabeth Nesbitt, U.S. International Trade Commission, 202-205-3355,

I have attached two documents outlining the program. Please note the deadline to be considered to speak at the February 9th hearing is Tuesday, January 26th. Once again, please contact Elizabeth Nesbitt, U.S. International Trade Commission, 202-205-3355,


Vincent Caprio
Executive Director
NanoBusiness Alliance

Press release 332 SME 2 inst-1
USTR Request Letter-1

NanoBusiness DC Roundtable, Mar.15-17th – Tomorrow’s Nanoscience Leaders

Posted on January 15th, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

With The Martin Luther King weekend Holiday upon us I was reading about the life of Dr. King. One quote from Dr. King which is apropos to our current state of affairs is the following.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

The NanoBusiness Alliance has been committed to innovation and keeping America competitive since our inception in 2001. Today, I would like to announce our 9th Annual Washington Roundtable which will be held March 15-17th. We will be in Washington DC starting Monday evening with a networking dinner and reception. Members please Email to register. To join the NanoBusiness Alliance please Email to discuss.

The innovative products developed by our NanoBusiness Alliance members often begin as ideas in a research lab. Yesterday’s nanoscience discoveries drive today’s breakthrough nanotechnology. Over the next few months, we are going to try to sneak a peek at tomorrow’s technology by checking out what the scientists are working on right now.

I will be bringing you short profiles of nanoscientists working across the many different disciplines that contribute to the excitement of our field. Of course we will be highlighting some of the big names, but we are going to start on a different track – by featuring a group of highly distinguished younger scientists.

Last week I talked about the NanoBusiness Alliance’s Talent Program for gifted high school students. The first group of nanoscientists we are going to look at are standouts a decade or more further down the career path, at the point where they are just beginning independent research careers. Each year, the White House asks U.S. R&D agencies to nominate young scientists whose pursuit of innovative research and commitment to community service are already apparent. From these nominees, the Office of Science and Technology Policy selects the winners of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, or PECASE.

I was pleased to discover that nanotechnology has been on PECASE winner’s research agenda at least since 1999, when President Clinton honored Kathryn “Kam” Moler of Stanford University. Moler was nominated by the Department of Defense for her work in developing new experimental methods to probing magnetism on the nanoscale, and for using these new tools to study materials such as superconductors that have important uses in critical Air Force applications like high-power microwave sources.

In the decade since, Kam’s star has continued to rise. In addition to leading a very successful research group utilizing local magnetic probes, she is now the director of the Center for Probing the Nanoscale, a National Science Foundation-funded center where Stanford and IBM scientists continue to improve scanning probe methods for measuring, imaging, and controlling nanoscale phenomena. Of course they have a great legacy from which to draw. Many people consider the invention of the scanning tunneling microscope – which brought IBM scientists Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics – a seminal event in the history of nanotechnology. Binnig and his longtime colleague Christoph Gerber, then based at IBM’s Zurich laboratory, spent 1986 visiting Stanford and IBM’s Almaden laboratory in San Jose. Their collaboration with Calvin Quate at Stanford led to the first and perhaps still most successful of the STM’s progeny, the Atomic Force Microscope.

We are going to take a look at one more recent PECASE recipient this week. Rashid Zia is an Assistant Professor of Engineering at Brown University and a member of the Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation His works on nanophotonics is supported by both NSF and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. On AFOSR’s recommendation, he was honored among the 2008 PECASE winners. Rashid describes his work as melding an optical physicist’s interest in how light behaves in nanostructured materials with an electrical engineer’s desire to develop useful new devices. So he and his students model, build, and characterize subwavelength photonic devices, often based on rare-earth compounds. He says these plasmonic devices can combine the speed of optics with the nanoscale size we have come to expect in the electronics world. One of the group’s goals is to improve LED lighting and hasten our transition away from inefficient incandescent or mercury-containing fluorescent bulbs – a great example of my green, clean, and never seen theme for nanotechnology.

More PECASE stories will follow in the coming weeks, along with some profiles of other well-known nanoscientists. Please send me feedback on who you would like to see included. Who do you think are the rock stars of nanoscience? Please email your nominees to

Let’s take a moment on Dr. King’s birthday to commit to science and math education for the students of America.


Vincent Caprio “It’s Green, It’s Clean, It’s Never Seen – That’s Nanotechnology”
Executive Director
NanoBusiness Alliance

NanoBusiness Talent Program-President Obama to unveil $250 Million math, science program

Posted on January 11th, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

President Barack Obama on Wednesday unveiled a $250-million teacher training program aimed at improving math and science education nationwide

The effort, which aims to train more than 10,000 new teachers over five years, is part of the White House’s “Educate to Innovate” campaign – a series of programs and grants designed to address the growing gap between the United States and other countries in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The NanoBusiness Alliance is delighted that the Obama Administration has made this commitment to tomorrow’s scientists and engineers. I look back over the last 30 years at how Technology has driven our economy. America continues to lead the World in Technology and Innovation and we must invest in our young people to stay competitive. Investment in Education and Technology is an issue we must all agree on for the future of America.

The NanoBusiness Alliance has made a significant commitment to students interested in nanotechnology. Entering our third year, the NanoBusiness Talent Program has been connecting future scientists and high-tech companies by arranging summer internships for high school students at nanotechnology companies. Fellowships are intended for high school students that are completing their junior or senior years and they are named Talent fellows after completing a 9-week program.

The NanoBusiness Alliance has determined that nanotechnology will account for over 10 million jobs worldwide by 2015. Total revenues from products incorporating nanotechnology will reach $2.5 trillion by 2010. The Talent Program contributes to research and innovation in emerging technology as these students move forward in their careers.

The recipients this year included:

  • Abigail Chao – Illinois Math and Science Academy – Advanced Diamond Technologies
  • Kevin Chen – Illinois Math and Science Academy – Ohmx
  • Zachary Epstein – Adlai E. Stevenson High School – NanoIntegris
  • Yifei Huang – Illinois Math and Science Academy – NanoInk
  • Kai-Le Moy – Glenbrook North High School – Questek
  • Michael Pearlman – New Trier High School – Nanosphere
  • Paul Schied – Lyons Township High School – Nanotope
  • Fangzhou (Jimmy) Yu – Adlai E. Stevenson High School – NanoInk

Advocates for engineering who participated in the 2009 program include:

The Talent Program will take place again this summer. Attached is our Winter 2010 Newsletter. For more information on the program or to participate in 2010, please contact Lesley Hamming, Program Director at


Vincent Caprio “It’s Green, It’s Clean, It’s Never Seen – That’s Nanotechnology”
Executive Director
NanoBusiness Alliance

2 Nanotechnology Opportunities-Department of Energy, January 2010-Happy New Year!

Posted on January 4th, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments »

My post a few weeks ago on the Advanced Research Project Agency – Energy drew a lot of interest, so here is an important update. On December 7th, while many of us were in NYC at the Livingston Nanotechnology Conference, Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy announced that American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding will be used to support a second, $100M round of awards to be made early next year. Preliminary proposals are being accepted through 5 p.m. EST on January 15th, 2010.

Unlike the broad first-round solicitation, the current Funding Opportunity Announcements call for game-changing ideas in just three specific areas. The good news is that two of these areas are natural fits for the nanotechnology community:

Batteries for Electrical Energy Storage in Transportation (BEEST) (DOE- FOA-0000207) This announcement calls for proposals to develop inexpensive, ultrahigh energy density batteries specifically for electric vehicles, to help shift our transportation energy supply from oil to the mix of mostly domestic sources that powers our electric grid. The key system-level specs, derived from the “aggressive long term goals” of the U.S.Automotive Battery Consortium (USABC), are mass energy density exceeding 200 Wh/kg, volumetric energy density exceeding 200 Wh/liter, and cost below $250/kW. Note that improvements to conventional Li-Ion cells or other technologies receiving R&D funding from DOE’s Office of Vehicle Technology or USABC are specifically excluded. Instead, the agency is looking for alternative materials to replace carbon-based anodes and Li-intercalation cathodes; new architectures; and manufacturing approaches that go beyond the current slurry coating based process.

Innovative Materials & Processes for Advanced Carbon Capture Technologies (IMPACCT) (DOE-FOA-0000208) This announcement is aimed at cleaning up the coal-fired power plants that currently meet half our country’s electricity needs by developing innovative ideas for capturing carbon emissions. Proposers should show that their innovative materials or new capture processes are ready to move beyond the basic research stage while laying out a development plan that will change the economics of carbon capture. Specific interests include low-cost catalysts and materials that can tolerate exposure to caustic flue gas. This program is meant to complement more conventional Carbon Capture and Sequestration development efforts sponsored by DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy

Some of you may also have expertise in metabolic engineering or synthetic biology, the technologies identified as appropriate for the third FOA,
Electrofuels (DOE- FOA-0000206) Here the agency is looking to lessen our dependence on oil and reduce carbon emissions by using microorganisms to convert carbon dioxide to liquid transportation fuels, with chemical or electrical energy as an input but without using petroleum or biomass.

For all three topics, the mandatory preliminary proposal consists of a concept paper limited to five pages, plus one budget page. Projects should last 24 to 36 months, and can request $1/2 Million to $10 Million. Cost-sharing is mandatory (20% for most entities, 10% for universities); in-kind contributions are acceptable but money is preferred. Further information can be found at

What a great way to bring in 2010. Happy New Year!


Vincent Caprio “It’s Green, It’s Clean, It’s Never Seen- That’s Nanotechnology”
Executive Director
NanoBusiness Alliance