You tell us: Who’s the Nanotech Idol among universities?

Universities and technical colleges around the world are where people go to obtain “higher learning.” They are also the lifeblood of the industrial world, where new ideas are tested, new partnerships built and, increasingly, products commercialized.

In 2009, the Small Times Annual University Rankings will be presented in a special report format, available for download from the Small Times Web site ( As in past years, the rankings will be based on a survey designed to evaluate which institutions are the “best of the best” in micro- and nanotechnology. Our in-depth questionnaire gauges each university’s capabilities and strengths in four areas: research, education, facilities, and technology commercialization. The information being gathered includes annual budget for the past year (including tool and equipment expenditures); number of full-time staff; if the facilities are available to the industry (if yes, for research, product development, manufacturing, or all three); and how many companies use the shared facilities. We also ask how many patents have been awarded in nanotech and MEMS, how many IP licenses were executed, the total amount of grant expenditures, and number of academic papers published.

Importantly–and here’s where you come in–these rankings also will include a “peer review” category for the top worldwide universities for nanotechnology and MEMS/microtechnology research and commercialization. This “Academy Awards” type of approach reveals average assessment among academe and also enables us to discuss universities that did not respond–in detail or at all–to our call for entries.

Please take a few minutes to review the listing of universities on pg. 28 of this issue. We’ve included a hyperlink to each university’s nanotechnology research/program, where available. (A couple of caveats: Due to space constraints we’ve only listed US universities, and this is by no means a complete roster–our apologies to those we’ve missed. You can help ensure that we do have a complete list by participating in the following short survey.)

Please give us your opinion on the following four questions:

  1. Top universities for nanotechnology research worldwide, up to 10, with #1 as the best.
  2. Top universities for MEMS/microtechnology research worldwide, up to 10, with #1 as the best.
  3. Top universities for nanotechnology commercialization worldwide, up to 10, with #1 as the best.
  4. Top universities for MEMS/microtechnology commercialization worldwide, up to 10, with #1 as the best.

Go to our Web site to take the survey, or simply send your responses to [email protected].

The institutions that rank highest in each category will also be invited to participate in a special hour-long webcast, to be held toward the end of March, where they will highlight their university micro- and nanotechnology programs.

Thanks for your help!

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Peter Singer is editor-in-chief of
Small Times. He can be reached
at [email protected].


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