Commonwealth of PA, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA, and U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology to cooperate on research, development

PHILADELPHIA, June 21, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) — The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) and the United States Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have agreed to establish a broad framework for cooperation to help promote research, technology transfer and commercialization of new discoveries and capabilities in nanotechnology, particularly in life sciences and biotechnology.

A measurement of infrastructure, specific to the challenges used by nanotechnology, is essential for the widespread adoption and commercialization of nanotechnology. NIST researchers are developing measurements, standards, and data crucial to U.S. industry’s competitiveness in the fast-emerging field. Within a decade, global sales of products embodying nanotechnology innovations could top $2.5 trillion.

Representatives of the Commonwealth, BFTP/SEP and NIST said they expect the new partnership to begin with a series of focus groups to explore industry needs and areas for technical collaborations.

“This collaboration strengthens our role as a leader of cutting-edge science and technology, innovation, research and commercialization,” said Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Yablonsky. “Through this partnership, the Commonwealth and its technology-based economic development partners and organizations will continue to stimulate growth and create high-wage, highly skilled jobs that strengthen Pennsylvania’s overall economy.”

“Our partnership will bring the voices and views of the region’s companies, academic and research institutions, and economic development organizations into a national dialogue to identify critical issues around bio and nano metrology that will impact downstream commercialization and production,” BFTP/SEP’s President and Chief Executive Officer RoseAnn B.Rosenthal said.

NIST’s Acting Director Dr. Hratch Semerjian agreed.

“The intersection of nanotechnology and biotechnology is clearly one of the most exciting and rapidly changing research areas today,” Dr. Semerjian said. “We look forward to working with the Ben Franklin Technology Partners and taking advantage of their insight into the directions and interests of nano- and biopharmaceutical firms in their region, particularly the emerging nano- and biotechnology enterprises.”

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development

The Department of Community and Economic Development fosters opportunities for businesses and communities to succeed and thrive in a global economy, thereby enabling Pennsylvanians to achieve a superior quality of life. Led by Secretary Dennis Yablonsky, the Department ensures growth and development in our businesses and communities across Pennsylvania.

National Institute of Standards and Technology

Part of the Commerce Department’s Technology Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology is the nation’s premier measurement laboratory and a key contributor to the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), a long-term federal effort to speed the advance of the emerging fields of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. NIST’s unique cross-disciplinary perspective and research capabilities allow it to bring tools and expertise from physics, chemistry, engineering, manufacturing science, electronics, materials science and information technology to bear on the key challenges in bioscience and nanotechnology (http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/nanotech.htm).

Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania Since 1982, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) has helped grow the region through science, technology and entrepreneurship. Part of a state-wide network in Pennsylvania, BFTP/SEP provides entrepreneurs and established businesses the capital, talent, and expertise they need to compete in the global marketplace. It is a founding partner of the Nanotechnology Institute (NTI) and the Mid-Atlantic Nanotechnology Alliance (MANA) and is funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development.

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