National Science Foundation to fund six major centers in nanoscale research

September 23, 2004 – The US National Science Foundation (NSF) will award $69 million over five years to fund six major centers in nanoscale science and engineering. These awards complement eight existing centers established since 2001. The awards are part of a series of NSF grants totaling $250 million for nanoscale research in multiple disciplines in FY04.

The new centers will be located at the University of California-Berkeley, Stanford University in California, the University of Wisconsin, Ohio State University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Northeastern University in Massachusetts. Specific awards are listed below.

Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers (NSEC) bring together researchers with diverse expertise — in partnership with industry, government laboratories, or partners from other sectors — to address complex, interdisciplinary challenges in nanoscale science and engineering. The new centers will impact a wide range of technologies, including nanomanufacturing, nanobiotechnology, electronics and medicine.

In addition, the centers’ education programs are designed to develop an innovative work force, advance pre-college training, address societal implications related to the research topic of each center, and to advance the public understanding of science and engineering.

NSF Awards in 2004 for Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers

Center of Integrated Nanomechanical Systems ($11.9 million)
University of California – Berkeley
The center is a partnership between UC Berkeley, Caltech, Stanford and UC-Merced with collaborators in industry and the national laboratories.
Research is focused on the science and engineering of nano-mechanical systems that are likely to have applications in chemical and biological sensing, and high-density, low-power, low-cost computation.

Center for High Rate Nanomanufacturing ($12.4 million)
Northeastern University
Northeastern University will partner with the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, the University of New Hampshire, and Michigan State University to develop novel high-rate/high-volume, precise nanomanufacturing techniques that are expected to impact the electronic, medical and automotive industries.

Center for Affordable Nanoengineering of Polymer Biomedical Devices ($12.9 million)
Ohio State University
The center seeks to develop polymer-based, low-cost nanoengineering technology that can be used to produce nanodevices and structures for next-generation medical diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Center on Molecular Function at the Nano/Bio Interface ($11.4 million)
University of Pennsylvania
The center’s research is aimed at the interface of nanotechnology and biology at the molecular level. Potential practical outcomes are in the areas of nanoscale device manufacturing, drug delivery and integrated chemical sensors as well as understanding basic complex biological and physiological processes.

Center for Probing the Nanoscale ($7.5 million)
Stanford University
This partnership between Stanford University, IBM, and other researchers in industry addresses the development of novel nanoprobes and application of these probes to answer fundamental questions in science and technology. The center expects to enhance the capabilities of the nanotechnology community to measure, image and control nanoscale phenomena.

Center for Templated Synthesis and Assembly at the Nanoscale ($13.4 million)
University of Wisconsin
The center addresses the self-assembly of complex materials and building blocks, including biological materials, at the nanoscale. Potential applications are in the areas of gene mapping, nanophotonics and nanosensors.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering, with an annual budget of nearly $5.58 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2000 universities and institutions.

Each year, NSF receives about 40,000 competitive requests for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. The NSF also awards over $200 million in professional and service contracts yearly.


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