The University of Louisville and University of Kentucky have announced receipt of a $3.76 million grant to create a national center of excellence in micro/nanotechnology. The highly competitive grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) is one of just 16 awarded to universities across the country. More than 100 colleges and universities competed for the NSF grant.
UofL and UK are joining a new national network that will make university facilities, tools and expertise in nanoscale science, engineering and technology available to outside users.
Eight key nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing facilities at UofL and UK will become a collaborative center for academia, small businesses and industry to “make the next generation of smart products using the tiniest materials” according to Dr. Neville Pinto, UofL interim provost. “This will be a boon to Kentucky’s economic development future and support the ongoing work of UofL’s Institute for Product Realization in our new research park,” Pinto said.
The five year grant will be used to:
- Enhance and upgrade advanced manufacturing equipment at UofL and UK research facilities
- Add staff to help train and support up to 500 additional external users
- Provide seed money for research projects in key advanced manufacturing areas
- Engage more minorities and women in nanoscale science, engineering and technology.
“The next generation of commercial, medical and industrial products will contain embedded tiny sensors and miniature wireless communication electronics” said Kevin Walsh, director of UofL’s Micro/Nanotechnology Center. “New manufacturing technologies will need to be developed so these smart products can be made quickly, reliably and economically. UofL and UK are tackling those challenges.”
“UK and UofL are developing unique infrastructure and expertise to build miniature solutions for applications in healthcare, energy, security and beyond” said J. Todd Hastings, director of the UK Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering. “This award enables academic and industrial researchers nationwide to join us.”
The announcement was made Sept. 21.