February 06, 2006

Wyden and Smith announce $8 millionfor Nanotechnology Center in Oregon

White House includes nanotechnology center in the Presidents budget

Washington, DC U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith today announced White House approval of a proposed Oregon nanotechnology center and $8 million in funding over three years in the Presidents 2007 budget, which was released today. Inclusion in the Presidents budget is a major milestone for the state's burgeoning nanotechnology efforts and reflects the growing national recognition that Oregons nanotechnology sector is generating.Nanotechnology involves the use of materials on the atomic and molecular scales, which often manifest physical, chemical, and biological characteristics quite different than they would otherwise. These materials have enormous potential for applications in medicine, manufacturing, information technology, energy and a whole host of other areas. By 2015, nanotechnology is expected to be a $2 trillion industry.This decision demonstrates that our investments in Oregon nanotechnology are already paying off, and we are now poised to cement our position as a national leader in this field, said Wyden. "The state is now jumping to the head of the line for nanotechnology research, nanotechnology talent, and nanotechnology jobs for today and tomorrow."Critical investment in nanotechnology today will lead to discoveries tomorrow that are now beyond our own imagination, Smith said. Nanotechnologys potential to change the way we invent and create is almost limitless.The $8 million in federal funding will go to the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI) to oversee the new center. It is anticipated that the center will develop nanotechnologies which significantly enhance the performance of microelectronics for military applications. Possible areas of focus for the center include: 1) nanomaterials for thermal management, 2) hybrid nano/micro structures and devices, 3) transparent electronic devices and materials, and 4) active cooling.ONAMI is a collaborative effort among Oregons three public research universities (the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, and Portland State University), the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the state of Oregon, and the world-leading Silicon Forest high technology industry cluster of Oregon and southwest Washington."We are incredibly pleased that the Army has decided to fund this center," said ONAMI Director Skip Rung. "The center will draw on Oregon's strong thermal systems and nanostructured materials research capacity to develop working technologies."Wyden and Smith made landing a nanotechnology center a major element in their Bipartisan Agenda for Oregon in 2003 and 2005, and worked with ONAMI and industry leaders to position Oregon to take advantage of this new field. The Senators have secured millions of dollars in federal funding for nanotechnology R&D projects in Oregon over the last few years.