Atomworks created to make Illinois a nano center

Oct. 10, 2002 — Chicago and Illinois have marshaled a team of corporate and academic heavy hitters to try to make the region a global nanotech center with a new advocacy group called AtomWorks. The mission of the new group is to facilitate nanotechnology innovation, commercialization and growth in Chicago and throughout the state.

Board members include Tellabs Chairman Michael Birck; Argonne National Laboratory Chairman Herman Grunder; attorney David Jacobson of Sonnenschein, Nath and Rosenthal; David Swain, chief technology officer at Boeing; Jay Kouba, senior vice president of research at BP Chemicals; Iwona Turlik, corporate vice president of advanced research at Motorola; and Matt McCall of Portage Venture Partners, the Illinois affiliate of high-tech venture firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. The board also includes representatives from Kellogg Management School at Northwestern University, the Illinois Dept. of Commerce and Community Affairs, World Business Chicago, McKinsey & Co., and the Chicago mayor’s office.

A technical advisory board includes members from Argonne, Northwestern University, Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

AtomWorks was initiated by the Illinois Coalition, a similar group devoted to promoting technology-related businesses in general, which is providing the nano group’s initial funding of $250,000. Stephen Mitchell, chairman of the Illinois Coalition, will also chair AtomWorks. Sean Murdock, formerly of McKinsey & Co., is serving as executive director.

— Elizabeth Gardner


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