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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Nanotechnology Showcase to highlight R&D opportunities in Rhode Island, April 7

Media Contact: Todd McLeish, 401-874-7892

Contacts:
Richard Lewis (Brown) 401-863-3766
Bethany Costello (GPCC) 401-521-5000

PROVIDENCE – April 6, 2011 – Industry and academics will gather to explore partnerships and job-creating potential in nanotechnology, a cutting-edge branch of science found in products from cosmetics to computer chips, at the first-ever Rhode Island Nanotechnology Showcase on Thursday, April 7 from 8 to 10:30 a.m.

Business leaders in Rhode Island will meet university researchers who are creating nanomaterials and learn about seed funding for academic-industry collaborations. The event will be held at the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 1 Davol Square, Providence.

Led by the Rhode Island Consortium for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology – a new partnership between Brown University and the University of Rhode Island –the event will also feature a keynote address by Clayton Teague, director of the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office. Teague will give an overview of the federal government’s investment and vision for nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Participants will meet faculty and students from URI and Brown and review summaries of their research in nanotechnology, the emerging field that revolves around manipulating matter at an atomic scale and molecular scale to create new materials and new devices for use in a variety of industries.

“This event is an excellent networking opportunity for Rhode Islanders who see the potential benefits that nanotechnology can bring to their work and to the state’s economy,” said Arijit Bose, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Rhode Island and director of the Consortium. “Those in attendance can share the challenges from their business sector and learn how nanotechnologies can help improve products or create new ones.”

The Consortium was established by a federal grant awarded to URI in 2010 as a joint research initiative between URI and Brown. Its aim is to enhance the state’s competitiveness in the fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology by promoting collaborations, building research teams, seeding entrepreneurship awards and establishing the infrastructure for nanoscale research and development.

"A major goal with this event is to make new connections between our universities and state and regional companies," said Robert Hurt, co-director of the consortium and the director of the Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation at Brown. "We expect industry participants will see opportunities to capitalize on our university capabilities in nanotechnology, and the consortium can help make this happen by providing small seed grants to start university-industry research and development projects."

Hurt noted that Rhode Island's per capita share of federal funding in nanotechnology is one of the highest in the nation. "We hope this new consortium will help us use these resources more effectively to develop and translate technologies that will enhance the knowledge economy in the Ocean State," he said.

The event is sponsored by URI, Brown’s Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, the Rhode Island Science and Technology Advisory Council, the Rhode Island Manufacturing Extension Service, and the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

For more information or to register to attend this event, visit www.uri.edu/nano or contact Melissa McCarthy at Melissa@uri.edu or 401-874-2599.