Microfabrication Lab, NanoTech User Facility to Operate Jointly

Facility will serve both academic and industrial users, and act as a micro and nano technology resource for companies in the state of Washington and nationwide.

Seattle, WA – May 8, 2008 – The Washington Technology Center Microfabrication Laboratory and the University of Washington NanoTech User Facility have announced plans to operate jointly in order to provide companies with increased access to micro and nano technology resources and expertise.

The Microfabrication Laboratory and the NanoTech User Facility are located adjacent to each other in Fluke Hall at the Washington Technology Center on the University of Washington campus. Together, the two laboratories will be better able to reach more academic and industrial users, resulting in strengthened technical resources for company growth and development in the state of Washington and nationwide.

Joint operation will provide users of the Microfabrication Laboratory access to the National Science Foundation National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network (NNIN), of which the NanoTech User Facility is one of thirteen nodes. The joint facility will operate under the open-access principles of the NNIN and the commercial operating standards of Washington Technology Center.

“This is a great opportunity to leverage the capabilities of both labs,” said Lee Cheatham, Executive Director of Washington Technology Center. “With this comprehensive set of equipment capabilities, companies will have enhanced access to nanotechnology research and development resources. Partnerships such as this are key to fostering economic development in Washington.”

“The university needs joint operating agreements like this — partnerships that promote economic development using UW technologies are a priority for the College of Engineering. Promoting innovation that leads to real world products and solutions is core to our mission,” said Matt O’Donnell, Frank & Julie Jungers Dean of Engineering at the University of Washington.

François Baneyx, UW NNIN Site Director and Acting Director of the UW Center for Nanotechnology, will chair an Executive Board for the joint facility. The Executive Board will set unified performance metrics for laboratory operations and define capital investment strategies.

“After working for several years toward common goals, it is very rewarding to see the relationship between the NanoTech User Facility and the WTC Microfabrication Laboratory formalized” said Baneyx. “The joint facility will offer a superior level of service by providing access to an integrated set of tools and staff expertise, expand the visibility of UW at the national level, and strengthen the impact of NNIN on research and development at the nanoscale.”

Funding for operations will come from diversified sources including user fees, NNIN, the State of Washington, UW, and federal agencies. As in the past, all intellectual property rights will reside with users, unless staff members contribute significantly to an invention, in which case joint intellectual property rights will be sought.

About Washington Technology Center
Washington Technology Center is a statewide economic development organization focused on technology and innovation. We spark ideas, form connections between people and resources, and foster job growth to position Washington state as a national technology leader. As an organization, Washington Technology Center channels state, federal, and private resources to help companies develop and commercialize new products and technologies. Our 15,000-square-foot Microfabrication Laboratory provides companies and university researchers access to facilities and specialized equipment for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) research and product/process development. The impact of Washington Technology Center’s work has generated more than $500 million in additional investment for Washington companies and researchers. For more information how Washington Technology Center can help research and development projects succeed, visit http://www.watechcenter.org/ or call 206-685-1920.

About the University of Washington NanoTech User Facility
The NanoTech User Facility (NTUF) was established in 1998 to provide the Pacific Northwest nanotechnology community with access to advanced characterization and nanofabrication tools. In 2004, the NTUF expanded its role to the national level by becoming one of thirteen nodes of the NSF-sponsored NNIN. The mission of NTUF within the NNIN network is to provide access to emerging nanoscale tools with an emphasis on applications of nanotechnology in biology and life sciences. More information about the NTUF and the NNIN can be found at http://depts.washington.edu/ntuf.

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