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Category Archives: Nanotech

Rise of Silica: Nanotechnology Innovation Creates Opportunity for Novel Product Development – R & D Magazine

Posted: February 24, 2017 at 6:39 pm

Polymers (plastics) such as polyurethane and polystyrene have been the standard coating materials used in the design and development of products and equipment over the last several decades. We see and touch them numerous times on a daily basis. These coatings, while functional, have several deficiencies. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes photooxidative degradation, resulting in the breaking of polymer chains. We have all likely witnessed the destruction of these types of transparent coatings, often within a remarkably few years or months of application, despite all of the modern science of additives, designed to prevent the negative effects of UV light on polymers. Polymer coatings also have low resistance to abrasion, chemicals and extreme heat. In addition, these coatings have mediocre light transmission properties and often suffer from solarization and browning.

In stark contrast, the new breed of silica-based coatings represents an evolutionary advance over polymer-based offerings. Because silica is the primary material in glass, it shares the qualities of glass superior transparency and toughness yet has the flexibility and versatility normally associated with commonplace polymer coatings. These silica-based coatings also are highly resistant to UV degradation.

Silica-based coatings are also durable enough to be applied in thicknesses that would be far too low for any polymer to be effective. Although these coatings are glass based, their ultra-thin dimensions make them quite flexible, eliminating the main concern with glass, namely its fragility. Silica coatings have better light transmission, thermal properties, and acid resistance than traditional polymer coatings. Consistent with efforts by researchers worldwide to use eco-friendly materials, these coatings are also non-toxic and contain no fossil fuel elements, unlike their oil-based polymer counterparts. Silica coatings can also be tuned to provide a multitude of other benefits, such as abrasion resistance, omniphobicity, oleophobicity, and anti-reflectivity, to name a few.

Research and development divisions can leverage silica coatings ability to act as a durable and resilient host for functional materials, which when added to the surfaces of existing products, creates a variety of enhanced effects. Such functionality can be a game changer for the creation of products only feasible with this new glass-based coating. Some examples may include copper nanoparticles to reduce barnacle accumulation on nautical vessels and UV-blocking nanoparticles to mitigate radiation for both terrestrial and interstellar uses. For others, the added functionality allows for significant improvements to existing products, making them lighter, stronger and more durable.

Some companies, such as Enki technologies and DSM NV, have developed and used silica-based coatings as anti-reflective and soil-resistant coverings to improve solar photovoltaic panel efficiency. Companies such as Kristall and South Korea-based Ceko make scratch and oil-resistant, silica-based coatings offered to R&D pros within the automobile and cell phone markets, respectively. These R&D pros, in turn, use the coating to re-engineer a number of pieces used in the manufacture of these products. Other silica-based offerings also laud their hydrophobic and graffiti-resistant abilities.

U.S.-based MetaShield has created a silica-based coating that employs leading-edge nanotech principles to provide toughness and durability to a variety of substrates. Its 1 micron thick MetaShield coating meaningfully increases the mechanical strength of ordinary glass without adding size, weight or visible distortion. The company is in advanced-stage collaborations with major glass suppliers and mobile device companies to implement their glass strengthening technology in cell phones and other electronic devices.

As silica-based coatings gain acceptance, they enable research engineers and product developers worldwide to utilize materials that would otherwise not be practical due to their weak external durability. In the end, the main question is: How do plastic coatings compare with the new, nano-enabled glass coatings? Simply put, silica based coatings herald a significant disruption in the coatings market that has been dominated by waterborne polymers for the last half century.

About the Authors: Martin Ben-Dayan is CEO, and co-founder of MetaShield, along with William Bickmore who also serves as the companys Chief Technology Officer.

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Nanotech Security Corp. Schedules First Quarter Fiscal 2017 … – Yahoo Finance

Posted: February 23, 2017 at 1:27 pm

VANCOUVER, BC–(Marketwired – February 22, 2017) – Nanotech Security Corp. (TSX VENTURE: NTS) (NTSFF), today announced the Company will release financial results for its first quarter fiscal 2017 after the market closes on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. The Chairman and CEO, Doug Blakeway and President and CFO, Troy Bullock will host a conference call at 5:00 P.M. Eastern Standard Time the same day. All interested parties are invited to participate in this conference call and should dial the following number approximately 10 minutes prior to the starting time.

Conference Call Details:

About Nanotech Security

Nanotech designs, manufactures and markets nano-optic OVDs and OTF products. These products have brand protection and enhancement applications across a wide range of markets including banknotes, secure government documents, commercial branding, and the pharmaceutical industry. The Company is initially focusing its efforts on the banknote market due to its high margins and its established customer base.

The Company’s nano-optic technology employs arrays of billions of nano-indentations that are impressed or embossed onto a substrate material such as polymer, paper, metal, or fabric. By using sophisticated algorithms to direct an electron beam, the Company creates visual images with colour shifting effects such as 3D, perceived movement, and can also display high-definition colours including skin tones, and whites and blacks, which are not possible using traditional holographic technology.

Additional information about Nanotech can be found at the Company’s website http://www.nanosecurity.ca, the Canadian disclosure filings website http://www.sedar.com or the OTCMarkets disclosure filings website http://www.otcmarkets.com.

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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Nanotech Security Corp. Schedules First Quarter Fiscal 2017 … – Yahoo Finance

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Nanotech startup, Graphene Composites, combines graphene with aerogel to form one of the strongest, lightest, and … – MENAFN.COM

Posted: February 20, 2017 at 7:28 pm

(MENAFN Editorial)

iCrowdNewswire – Feb 13, 2017

Graphene Composites

Nanotech startup, Graphene Composites, combines graphene with aerogel to form one of the strongest, lightest, and most resilient materials ever. The company has developed its first prototype, ballistic armour, and plans to develop aircraft skins and ultra-strong cables.

GCL is a nano-tech manufacturing startup; we are combining graphene (the world’s strongest material and a top heat/electrical conductor) with aerogel (the lightest material and a top insulator/shock absorber) to create nano-composites that we hope couldbe some of the strongest, lightest, most resilient materials ever made.

Working wth the UK government-funded Centre for Process Innovation, we have developed our first prototype nano-composite – a graphene/aerogel ballistic armour – and we are working on further prototypes (of aircraft skins, ultra-strong cables and others). All of these products have large, global markets – and we believe that the superior performance of our GCL nano-composites will attract strong customer demand.

Our business model is to develop these graphene/aerogel prototypes, file patents for their technologies, and then generate revenues from either licensing the technologies or manufacturing the products (whichever is more commercially attractive).

Our seed funding round with Crowdcube attracted tremendous interest (we closedit after three days)and it enabled us to fund the development of our first prototype. The bulk of this current funding round will go towards further product development.

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Nanotech startup, Graphene Composites, combines graphene with aerogel to form one of the strongest, lightest, and … – MENAFN.COM

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Tech.Co Top Stories: Birthdays, Nanotech, Snapchat, and Black History Month – Tech.Co

Posted: February 19, 2017 at 11:29 am

February 17, 2017 5:50 pm

Sure, the weekend is a time for relaxing. After a long week of work, theres nothing better than sitting back with a binge-worthy Netflix show and vegging out until Monday morning. However, if you missed out on some of Tech.Cos top stories this week, wouldnt you rather catch up on those? Well, now you can thanks to this super handy list of the biggest stories of the week. From the future of marketing on Snapchat to the best ways to celebrate Black History Month, we really hit all the bases in the last few days. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the top stories from Tech.Co!

Remember! Apply now to Tech.Cos Startup of the Yearcompetition, which will give you a chance to join us atInnovate! and Celebrate 2017! Register now and get ready for a fantastic 3-day journey.

Need more Tech.Co? Sign up for the Tech.Co newsletter today, and get the weekly wrap-up direct to your inbox. Interested in coming to a Tech.Co event? Check out our Tech.Co calendar here.

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Conor is a writer, comedian and world-renowned sweetheart. He has been writing since first grade when his novel “A Robot and Me” hit the top of the refrigerator. Since then, he has written coupons, training modules and listicles about his favorite bars for fun and paychecks alike. His background in comedy ranges from stand-up to sketch, and he runs a very popular stand-up show in Chicago called Rat Pack Comedy, which he’s very proud of. In his spare time, he thinks about how to properly pronounce the word “colloquially.” Conor is the Senior Writer at Tech.Co. You can email him at conor@tech.co.

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Faster-charging, longer-lasting batteries: This startup thinks nanotech is the answer – ZDNet

Posted: February 15, 2017 at 9:30 pm

HE3DA founder Jan Prochazka: “I paid for some experiments to test my theories, and they turned out to be correct.”

A Czech company is building nanotechnology-based batteries that it says last longer, recharge quicker, and are more durable than current options. But expect to find them in an electric car or datacenter rather than in your smartphone.

With the rise in popularity of electric vehicles over the past couple of years, interest in new concepts for lithium-ion batteries has grown immensely.

One of those new concepts is a battery created by Prague-based HE3DA, which applies a construction method developed by Czech chemist and company founder Jan Prochazka. His company started its first automated production line in December.

The story of HE3DA, pronounced ‘he-da’, started when Prochazka left the R&D department of Altairnano, a large producer of Li-ion batteries in Reno, Nevada, in 2005.

“I worked on materials, but I only started work on the battery after I left,” he tells ZDNet. “I had an idea about using nano particles to increase the surface of the electrodes and take away the issue of lithium-ion diffusion.”

In conventional Li-ion batteries, the separators between the electrodes are 40 to 50 micrometers wide, he explains, while the electrodes themselves are also 50 micrometers wide.

“So literally, 50 percent of the actual battery consists of separators.” He finally got to test his theories in 2007, he says. “I paid for some experiments to test my theories, and they turned out to be correct.”

The initial goal was to create a battery that simply lasts longer and recharges more rapidly than the competition. But the main advantage turned out to be battery safety and lower production costs.

“I realised that a bit later on,” Prochazka recalls. “The first intention was to build up the capacity, and the secondary goal was to up the charge on each electrode by 10,000 times.”

That objective turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, as there was a discharge on some electrode areas. “So the concept was limited by that. But the safety and performance were still very good, and the production cost was about 1/20th of that of existing technologies,” he says.

Prochazka explains that the timing also turned out to be just right, because interest in electric cars has been driving demand for larger Li-ion batteries.

“Had we made the same breakthrough 10 years ago, I doubt it would have sparked the same level of interest,” he says.

“In 2005, the total global output of lithium-ion batteries was still only around 1.3GWh. In 2010, you saw that the development of electric mobility was starting to having an impact, but global production was still only a little over 5GWh. Another five years down the line, however, that figure has risen to 35GWh.”

Because of that, Prochazka is not considering the market for smartphone batteries to be viable.

“Our market is in big batteries,” he says. “The bigger, the better.” The smallest battery HE3DA will be producing will be 1,000kWh, which is more than 1,000 times that of a standard smartphone battery. “Our technology is especially suited to a starting battery at around the same size of existing batteries, but with much higher power, namely 48V.” A standard starting battery delivers around 12V.

Another market Prochazka is looking at, is the market for backup generators in datacenters.

“The battery has a response time of milliseconds on the grid, so it is very useful for emergency power. You can operate at a constant voltage. It is always ready to supply power, enough for the diesel generators to kick in. You won’t lose any data,” he says.

It has proven popular, with Prochazka getting a local investor on board in 2014, allowing him to build 250 prototypes. With recent additional investments, he has now been able to automate his first production line.

“The capacity remains small, though. We can produce around 5MWh per year,” he says. “However, we’re already sold out and we cannot meet the demands of the retail market. We’re building a mass production line as fast as possible. Hopefully, mass production will commence by the end of this year or the first quarter of next year.”

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This New Nanotech Coating Makes Fingerprints Disappear – Tech.Co

Posted: at 12:26 am

Say goodbye to those pesky fingerprints that blur your iPhone screen andsully your kitchen appliances: NBD Nanotechnologies has introduceda patented coating solution, InvisiPrint, that prevents fingerprint marks from showing upon glass and metal surfaces.While there are other products already out on the market that can clean fingerprints off of surfaces, there hasnt yet been one that prevents fingerprints altogether.

The complex formula is able to diffuse the oil from your finger onto the surface with which its making contact, allowing the light to pass through without being distorted by the fingerprint. This, to the naked eye, makes it seem like the fingerprint isnt even there.

This is another step forward in NBDs project to provide wettability solutions to everyday products. Wettability encompasses solutions that make plastic, glass, metal, and paint products repellant to water, dirt, oil, and chemicals. While these solutions are extremely useful in warding off unwanted liquids and chemicals, they represent something much more important: the trend toward nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology is a very broad term that involves the creation of devices or machines that attend to the nanometer scale. It allows for a whole range of technology opportunities due to the unique properties afforded at such a small scale.

A nanometer, for reference, is the size of a couple atoms or a small molecule. Nanotechnology takes place within the 1-100 nanometer range.

Nanotechnology is everywhere. Stain and wrinkle-resistant clothes, scratch-resistant paint, and transparent zinc oxide sunscreen all utilize some form of nanotechnology, be it nano-whiskers, nanoparticles, or nanotubes.By creating products that can manipulate the properties of an object on such a small level, companies can introduce a whole new universe of solutions that seem unattainable and can do it more sustainably and cheaply.

Were also seeing rapid improvement every year. Last year, a group of engineers successfully built a one nanometer long transistor for a computer chip, as opposed to the 15 nanometer transistor youd find in an Intel computer chip in 2009. This rapid improvement in nanotechnology means significant improvements with the everyday technology that we use.

It also means that a technological revolution is rapidly approaching. Nanotechnology is paving the way for unforeseen possibilities to become legitimate realities. Iron nanoparticles that clean poisonous water and tiny robots that travel through the digestive system to record information are concrete inventions that are only a marketing strategy away from being used on a mass scale.

As we look ahead into the future of nanotechnology, we need to prepare ourselves for a whole new era of innovation and realize that sweating the small stuff is going to make our lives a whole lot safer and easier.

Photo: Flickr / Milosz1

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Insider Trading Activity Applied Nanotech Holdings Inc. (OTCMKTS:PENC) Director Bought 1958 shares of Stock – Market Exclusive

Posted: February 14, 2017 at 11:35 am

Insider Trading Activity Applied Nanotech Holdings Inc. (OTCMKTS:PENC) Director Bought 1958 shares of Stock
Market Exclusive
Ronald J Berman , Director of Applied Nanotech Holdings Inc. (OTCMKTS:PENC) reportedly Bought 1,958 shares of the company's stock at an average price of 1.66 for a total transaction amount of $3,250.28 SEC Form. Insider Trading History For Applied …

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Insider Trading Activity Applied Nanotech Holdings Inc. (OTCMKTS:PENC) Director Bought 1958 shares of Stock – Market Exclusive

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Company in Focus: Nanotech Security Corp. (TSXV:NTS) – Midway Monitor

Posted: at 11:35 am

Nanotech Security Corp. (TSXV:NTS) currently has a Gross Margin (Marx) ratio of 0.115127. Robert Novy-Marx has provided investors with insights on finding high-quality value stocks. Marx pointed to a high gross income ratio defining the quality of a company. Nanotech Security Corp. has a Gross Margin score of 57. The Gross Margin score falls between 1 and 100 where a score of 1 would be good, and a score of 100 would be considered bad. This score is based on the Gross Margin stability and growth over the previous 8 years.

Focusing in further, Nanotech Security Corp. (TSXV:NTS) has an EV (Enterprise Value) of 73183. EV represents the total economic value of a specific company. EV is considered to gauge the theoretical takeover price if a company was to be acquired. EV takes into account more than just the outstanding equity. Debt and cash can have a big impact on a firms Enterprise Value. Although two companies may have the same market cap, they may have highly different EV values.We can now shift the focus to some current ROIC (Return on Invested Capital) data for Nanotech Security Corp. (TSXV:NTS). ROIC is a commonly used financial metric that measures how efficient a company is with earning cash flow through invested capital. A typical ROIC calculation divides operating income, adjusted for its tax rate, by total debt plus shareholder equity minus cash. The aim of the ROIC calculation is to show how much new cash is generated from capital investments. After a recent check, Nanotech Security Corp.s ROIC is -0.43493. The ROIC 5 year average is -1.594091 and the ROIC Quality ratio is at -1.266727.

Investors searching for value in the stock market may be checking on the Magic Formula Rank or MF Rank for Nanotech Security Corp. (TSXV:NTS). Nanotech Security Corp. currently has a MF Rank of 13663. The Magic Formula was devised and made popular by Joel Greenblatt in his book The Little Book That Beats the Market. Greenblatts formula helps seek out stocks that are priced attractively with a high earnings yield, or solid reported profits in comparison to the market value of the company. To spot opportunities in the market, investors may be looking at stocks that have the lowest combined MF Rank.

Nanotech Security Corp. (TSXV:NTS) has a currentValue Composite score of 87. This score falls on a scale from 0 to 100 where a lower score would indicate an undervalued company and a higher score would indicate an overvalued company. This ranking was created by James OShaughnessy using six different valuation ratios including price to book value, price to sales, EBITDA to EV, price to cash flow, price to earnings, and shareholder yield.

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Patent Filed for Nanotech Cloud Seeding Material – Controlled Environments Magazine

Posted: February 9, 2017 at 6:25 am

The Masdar Institute research team that was one of the inaugural recipients of the $5 million grant from the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science last year has made significant progress in their work as evidenced by the filing a provisional patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

By filing a patent on their innovative cloud seeding material, the research team is bringing the material in the pathway for commercialization, thereby supporting Masdar Institutes goal of bolstering the United Arab Emirates local intellectual property, which is a key measure of the countrys innovation drive. It also signifies a milestone towards achieving greater water security in the UAE, as rainfall enhancement via cloud seeding can potentially increase rainfall between 10 to 30 percent, helping to refresh groundwater reserves, boost agricultural production, and reduce the countrys heavy reliance on freshwater produced by energy-intensive seawater desalination.

Masdar Institute Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Dr. Linda Zou, is the principal investigator of this research project, and one of the first scientists in the world to explore the use of nanotechnology to enhance a cloud seeding materials ability to produce rain.

While the field of rain enhancement which involves stimulating clouds to produce rain leverages cloud physics, atmosphere physics, and topographical studies, Zou and her team complement such work through their focus on the cloud seeding material itself.

Using nanotechnology to accelerate water droplet formation on a typical cloud seeding material has never been researched before. It is a new approach that could revolutionize the development of cloud seeding materials and make them significantly more efficient and effective, Zou says.

Offering a comprehensive overview of Zous progress, Alya Al Mazroui, Manager of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, says, The Program is a unique opportunity to use advanced research methods for studying atmospheric processes in arid regions, where its understanding is most important to ensure water security globally. We are convinced that Masdar Institutes project, under Linda Zous supervision, will advance rain enhancement science through innovative seeding agents.

Dr. Deon E. Terblanche, Director, Atmospheric Research and Environment Branch, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), serves as a member of the international scientific advisory committee of the UAE Rain Enhancement Program Award. He believes that the novelty of Zous research has great potential to drive innovation in the field of rain enhancement: Dr. Linda Zou of the Masdar Institute is bringing a fresh and exciting contribution to the field of rainfall enhancement. Her team’s research into the development of new seeding materials, taking advantage of nanotechnology, holds exciting possibilities and is followed with considerable interest, Terblanche says.

Conventional cloud seeding materials are small particles such as pure salt crystals, dry ice, and silver iodide. These tiny particles, which are a few microns (one-thousandth of a millimeter) in size, act as the core around which water condenses in the clouds, stimulating water droplet growth. Once the air in the cloud reaches a certain level of saturation, it can no longer hold in that moisture, and rain falls. Cloud seeding essentially mimics what naturally occurs in clouds, but enhances the process by adding particles that can stimulate and accelerate the condensation process.

Zou and her collaborators, Dr. Mustapha Jouiad, Principal Research Scientist in Mechanical and Materials Engineering Department, postdoctoral researcher Dr. Nabil El Hadri, and PhD student Haoran Liang, explored ways to improve the process of condensation on a pure salt crystal by layering it with a thin coating of titanium dioxide.

The extremely thin coating measures around 50 nanometers, which is more than one thousand times thinner than a human hair. Despite the coatings miniscule size, the titanium dioxides effect on the salts condensation efficiency is significant. Titanium dioxide is a hydrophilic photocatalyst, which means that when in contact with water vapor in the cloud, it helps to initiate and sustain the water vapor adsorption and condensation on the nanoparticles surface. This important property of the cloud seeding material speeds up the formation of large water droplets for rainfall.

Zous team found that the titanium dioxide coating improved the salts ability to adsorb and condense water vapor over 100 times compared to a pure salt crystal. Such an increase in condensation efficiency could improve a clouds ability to produce more precipitation, making rain enhancement operations more efficient and effective. The research will now move to the next stage of simulated cloud and field testing in the future.

The UAE government has recognized the potential of rain enhancement to support water security and established the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science to increase rain enhancement research in the UAE and arid and semi-arid regions across the world. Awardees of the Programs Second Cycle grant of $5 million were announced last week during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2017. They include Professor Giles Harrison of the University of Reading, Professor Hannele Korhonen of the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), and Dr. Paul Lawson of American firm Spec Inc.

Zous research grant covers two more years of research. During this time, her team will continue to study different design concepts and structures for cloud seeding materials inspired by nanotechnology.

Source: Masdar Institute

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Lecce debuts Italy’s biggest nanotech clean room – ItalyEurope24 (subscription)

Posted: February 6, 2017 at 3:38 pm

Nanotech is taking root in southern Italy. As of yesterday, Feb. 3, two new clean rooms opened in Puglia at the Nanotechnology Center of the CNR (National Research Council) on the campus of the University of Salento.

Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella attended the opening day, as did Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, president of the Region of Puglia, Michele Emiliano, mayor of Lecce, Paolo Perrone, and president of the CNR, Massimo Inguscio.

Seeing here, in Lecce, areas of excellence like the CNR, the Atheneum, makes it clear how the cultural fabric that exists in the South constitutes an important element in the recovery of the area and the nation. And it’s comforting to see that these are sites of real excellence, acknowledged around the world, Mattarella said.

A clean room is just that – a clean room where sophisticated systems and advanced ventilation and filtering technologies reduce the level of pollution. It’s where tiny structures and devices, measured in nanometers (one billionth of a meter – the size of the point of a needle in a soccer field) are created for applications in various sectors like energy, telecommunications, electronics, precision medicine.

The facilities in Lecce are the largest such public structure in Italy for nanotechnology: more than 1,000 square meters of laboratories with a controlled environment.

The project launched 4 years ago and total investment was more than 10 million including the structure, facilities and equipment. It was split among the CNR, the Region of Puglia, MIUR (Ministry of Education and Research) and European funds. It employs 40 researchers under 35 years old, technologists with PhDs, and more than ten technicians. Some 60% of them women and 20% are foreigners, trained in physics, chemistry, engineering and biology.

CNR’s Nanotechnology Institute of Lecce, directed by Giuseppe Gigli, is on its way to becoming a point of reference for the segment of Italian industry active in innovation and high tech. The labs can be used by large and small companies alike (including startups and spinoffs) that wish to pursue nanotechnology research: from biomedical to UCT to photonics to high-speed electronics. As of today, about ten multi nations and innovative startups have signed on. The Institute has a cooperation agreement with ST Microeletronics.

The Nanotechnology pole, said Inguscio, is an example of national success and collaboration among research entities and Italian and foreign universities, national institutions like MUIR, and local areas like Puglia.

He added that in line with the national research program, the group will continue to invest, including in the South, in order to support the revival of the national fabric, solid employment and attractive young and brilliant minds.

In 2017 and 2018, plans include signing new cooperation agreements for joint labs with high-tech multinationals and public hospital agencies in the area of medicine and precision equipment.

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