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Nanotechnology firms, college partners to get $3 million boost

Stephanie Baum

Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority has allocated $3.15 million in grants for colleges and universities along with their nonprofit partners to support nanotechnology research and development activities.

The funding is designed to support early stage and established technology firms to encourage innovation and the creation of high-paying jobs throughout the state, according to a statement from the Department of Community and Economic Development. Department Secretary C. Alan Walker said: “This program will support technology growth and collaboration among Pennsylvania’s higher education institutions and technology-oriented businesses.”

The grant program supports university research through education and workforce development, forming public-private partnerships and attracting talented undergraduate and graduate students. The program will also focus on commercializing new technologies, expanding and coordinating with other technology-based economic development activities.

Applicants eligible for funding include colleges or universities and their nonprofit partners.

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development will accept grant applications through Dec. 31.

The grants are part of a statewide initiative called the Pennsylvania Initiative for Nanotechnology, or PIN, which projects that the state will produce at least $7.7 billion worth of nanotechnology products by 2015.

The practical applications of nanotechnology are extensive and can include nanoparticles for vaccinesbreaking up blood clots, dermatology treatments and wound dressings that utilize the antimicrobial properties of nanocrystalline silver. There are also applications for agriculture.

PIN includes the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Commonwealth’s research universities, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and more than 125 companies and economic development organizations. Pennsylvania aspires to be a global leader in nanotechnology research, commercialization and economic development activities.

Applications can be submitted by visiting this link.

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