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New nanotechnology institute to make manufacturing breakthroughs

Oakland University in the United States will launch a new dedicated nanotechnology research and development institute to further important developments in manufacturing, science and health.

Oakland University president for academic affairs, Dr Virinder K Moudgil, said the launch of the new NanoTech Research & Development Institute on their campus in Michigan will contribute significantly to the emerging sector of science and technology with virtually limitless possibilities.

By advancing the understanding and control of the fundamental building blocks of nature, this field of exploration will lead to unprecedented breakthroughs in health care, energy, manufacturing, computer technology, agriculture and more, he said.

The NanoTech Institute will serve as the focal point of these breakthroughs.

The NanoTech R&D Institute is expected to become a state, national and world leader in nanotechnology research.

The Institute will recruit highly-accomplished faculty, enlist bright and ambitious student researchers, and build highly-collaborative partnerships with industry, said Moudgil.

The Institute has already begun to investigate ideas that could lead to findings with meaningful, real-world applications.

Dr T C Yih, a nationally-recognised leader in nanotechnology research, will lead the NanoTech Institute as founding director. Dr Yih — who is also vice provost for research and a professor of engineering at Oakland University — is also coeditor-in-chief of the journal, Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, and coeditor of Micro and Nano Manipulations for Biomedical Applications, a book widely seen to be the authoritative volume on nanobiotechnology.

“One of the ultimate goals of nanotechnology is to create functional materials, devices and systems through the control of matters at nanoscale, which-is at the atomic and molecular levels. The emerging fields of nanotechnology are leading to unprecedented understanding and control over the fundamental building blocks of all physical objects,” said Dr Yih.

The mission of the NanoTech Institute is to advance knowledge, promote research, and support education in the fields of nanoscale science and engineering. Industry partnerships are at the heart of the Institute. The Institute has already partnered with Octillion Corp, a Washington-based technology incubator focusing on the development and commercialization of alternative and renewable energy technologies.

Nanorex, another industry partner to the Institute, is a Michigan-based company specialising in developing nano-mechanical engineering tools for the design and synthesis of complex DNA nano-structures. More industry partnerships will be announced in the coming year.

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