Merck KGaA, Nano-Terra extend nano alliance

October 8, 2008 Merck KGaA (EMD in North America) has extended its existing strategic alliance with Nano-Terra Inc. , a leading nanotechnology co-development company. The original agreement, announced in February 2007, was to develop innovative, nanotechnology-based products and solutions based on Merck’s materials; after successfully meeting initial development milestones, the new agreement will focus on specific application development for Merck customers and moving the technical capabilities into the marketplace for commercialization.

Under the new agreement, which extends the partnership through 2011, Nano-Terra will develop novel application techniques for existing Merck materials which are designed to address market opportunities where micron and nanometer feature sizes are required for certain printable electronics components. The Merck fabrication processes will be based on Nano-Terra’s proprietary soft lithography technology, invented and pioneered by Professor George Whitesides of Harvard U. (a co-founder of Nano-Terra), and the partners will share commercialization rights on a global basis. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The new development work will be done at Nano-Terra’s lab facilities in Cambridge, MA, with close cooperation of a Merck scientific team and by EMD Chemicals, Merck’s North American affiliate.

“We were very pleased by the progress made in the initial stages of our relationship with Nano-Terra,” said Thomas Geelhaar, VP of liquid crystals R&D and business development chemicals at Merck KGaA, in a statement. “We look forward to our continued collaboration with Professor Whitesides and his team, and to building on these developments to create specific products which we believe will provide significant benefits to our customers.”

“Through its embrace of innovative technologies and applications, Merck continues to underscore its commitment as a pioneer in research and development,” added Carmichael Roberts, vice chairman of Nano-Terra. “We are delighted to extend our working relationship with them and to enhance their exploration of how to best optimize materials to improve products and processes for its customers.”

Harvard U. has licensed more than 50 issued and pending patents of nano- and micro-scale molecular fabrication methods developed by Professor George Whitesides. (Photo: Business Wire)


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