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High Tech Site Selection: Nanotech Hot Spots

Jennifer LeClaire  (Oct/Nov 06)
While nanotechnology - a technology that creates small materials at the scale of molecules by manipulating single atoms - is often associated with the life sciences and energy sectors, it is taking big steps into the electronics industry. Nanotechnology is promising because it could stimulate the continued progress the semiconductor industry expects for decades to come and make way for electronics devices to be manufactured at sizes much smaller than current technology will allow.

Not surprisingly, California is a leader in connecting nanotech with electronics. The Northern California Nanotechnology Initiative, the Bay Area Nanotechnology Forum, and nanoSIG are just a few organizations plowing through the California's fertile nano ground. California's universities are doing their fair share to ensure future economic development around the tiny technology. On the commercial side, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Intel are shelling out big bucks for in-house nanotech research, while startups like Nanomix have attracted $13.5 million in VC funding to develop components for electronics, sensor applications and energy storage.

Virginia also has active nanotechnology research programs at colleges, universities, businesses, and federal laboratories, as well as a robust semiconductor cluster. Likewise, Arizona boasts a developing nanotechnology cluster that compliments its electronics industry stronghold. Already strong in biotech, Massachusetts is also among the national leaders in electronics, semiconductors and nanotechnology. Merging these strengths could bode well for future manufacturing facility locations in these markets.

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