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Florida, located in the southeastern region of the United States, has a population of 19,057,542 as of 2011. It covers a total area of 170,304 km2.
For a very long time, the agricultural sector dominated Florida’s economy, but other sectors are now also very strong, including construction, tourism, international banking, industry, commercial space travel, and healthcare research. With the contributions of these varied sectors, the country’s GDP as of 2010 was $748 billion. Florida was recognized as the fourth largest exporter of trade commodities in 2010.
Florida is also making strategic investments in the promising field of nanotechnology. Around three dozen companies are operating in the nanotechnology cluster in the state. In addition, Florida universities are making important contributions to the R&D infrastructure and the repository of knowledge available to nanotech entrepeneurs and investors in the region.
The major nanotechnology-related companies operating in Florida are listed below along with a brief introduction to each of them:
Nanotherapeutics - Nanotherapeutics has significant expertise in product formulation, pre-clinical and clinical development, scale-up and cGMP manufacturing, utilizing established as well as our proprietary techniques: NanoQUAD®, NanoDRY®, and GelVac™. Their specialized proprietary techniques can improve the release rate, enhance both the rate and extent of drug uptake, and/or increase bioavailability. The consequences of these changes include more consistent drug therapy with potentially reduced dose and dose frequency requirements, as well as fewer side effects. Nanotherapeutics ensures the quality and integrity of products and data generated, and continually improves quality at the source through employee involvement and supplier assessment.
Nanoblox - Nanoblox was founded to commercialize nanodiamond. Nanodiamonds are extremely small (nanometer) sized particles of diamond. Diamond has many unique properties such as hardness, thermal conduction, electrical insulation, high refractive index, and biocompatibility. NanoBlox's proprietary detonation synthesis allows for the controlled production of nanodiamonds. Purification and the modification of the nanodiamonds enable the attachment of compounds to the nanodiamond surface. This allows nanoblox to engineer nanodiamond particles for specific purposes.
nanoStrata - nanoStrata is a small company formed in 2000 to commercialize technology developed at Florida State University. The company's technology simplifies the processes involved with creating and manipulating polyelectrolyte multilayer films and multilayer spin coatings.
Radiation Shield Technologies - Radiation Shield Technologies (RST) is the world leader in the research, design and production of personal protection systems for ionizing and nuclear radiation. The company's core technology, Demron™ , is specifically engineered to combine radiation protection with "ease of use" in order to maximize effective radiological defense. RST's primary goal is to ensure that all Demron™ products are of the highest protective quality. This is achieved by working closely with our end users, developing new standards of personal radiation protection, and meeting the specific needs of those groups most at risk of exposure. After almost a decade of development, RST is proud to introduce Demron™ to the industries, governments and everyday people who, until now, have had no options for true personal radiation protection.
RAVE - RAVE LLC is a technology driven company with a long history of revolutionary contributions to the Semiconductor, Photomask and Nanotechnology industries. RAVE is a global supplier of advanced equipment for leading edge Semiconductor and Nanotechnology applications. RAVE’s exceptionally talented team is well recognized for the development and on-time delivery of innovative, cost saving process solutions to customers around the world.
Melstream Industries - Melstream Industries introduces molecular nanotechnology to the water treatment industry. By incorporating nanotechnology in the production of water conditioning media, Melstream Industries is producing a line of medias that are multi functional and extremely efficient. Molecular nanotechnology is designed to replace conventional media and allow domestic, commercial, industrial and public water treatment companies to create more efficient, lower cost and environmentally friendly treatment systems.
Dais Analytic Corporation - Dais Analytic Corporation provides industry-changing, nanotechnology-based applications for heating & cooling, water treatment, and energy storage. These applications are reshaping traditional notions of energy efficiency, economics, and eco-friendly products by both reducing environmental impact use while lowering costs. Dais was incorporated in 1999 as a nanotechnology polymer materials and processes company. Dais is positioned to have a substantial international impact in applied nanotechnology within the energy and water industries. Products incorporating Dais' nanotechnology enable users to minimize consumption of irreplaceable natural resources and limit environmental destruction.
Fractal Systems - Fractal Systems Inc. (FSI) was founded in 1997 to conduct cutting edge research and development (R&D) on conductive polymers, nanomaterials and nanocomposites for electronic and electrochemical applications, including sensors and power sources for the Federal Government and Private Sector customers, and to develop commercial products out of this R&D effort.
Argonide Corporation - Argonide Corporation manufactures a full line of superior quality filter cartridges for virtually every aqueous application. With their unique qualifications as the inventor of the NanoCeram Electropositive Filtration technology, their expertise enables them to successfully engineer our customer’s targeted efficiencies, flow characteristics and dirt-holding capacities to solve most of their filtration needs.
Quantachrome Instruments - Quantachrome is a renowned innovator of ideas for today's porous materials needs. For more than 35 years, Quantachrome's scientists have revolutionized measurement techniques and designed instrumentation to enable the accurate, precise, and reliable characterization of powdered and porous materials.
Particle Sizing Systems - For over 35 years Particle Sizing Systems has been committed to helping customers find solutions to their particle sizing problems. PSS offers products with unique capabilities that can size particles from single digit nanoparticles to particles that are thousands of microns in diameter.
Microtrac - Microtrac pioneered the use of Laser Diffraction to measure particle size in 1970. Since inventing its first instrument, Microtrac has spent the last five decades improving on its technology.
Some of the leading academic institutes in Florida offering courses and research programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology are listed below:
University of Florida - The Nano Group at UFlorida researches on nanoelectronics and nanotechnology that includes a device nanofabrication, nanomaterials synthesis and growth, electrical and optical measurement/characterization, structural characterization and simulation/modeling.
Florida International University - The Advanced Materials Engineering Research Institute’s Motorola Nanofabrication Reserach Facilities contains nanofabrication capabilities including optical photolithography and e-beam lithography along with a class 100 clean room.
Florida State University - Integrative NanoScience Institute provides research and teaching facilities on bio-nanoscience. This institute promotes new discoveries and technological improvements in domains related to bio-nanoscience and aims at developing a bio-nanoscience program at the interface of Chemistry, Physics, molecular biology, device engineering, materials science, sensing and imaging.
Florida International University - The Nanobioengineering and Bioelectronics Laboratory has projects dealing with biofuel clls and nanoelectronics, biosensors that will be useful to combine nanotechnology with advanced MEMS technology, biology and electrochemistry. The lab also conducts research in nanotoxicity and cytotoxicity.
University of South Florida - The Nanotechnology Research and Education Center provides multidisciplinary research in nanomanufacturing methods and nanomaterials related to integrated nanoscale systems, fundamental materials science, optics, electronics, medical products, actuators and sensors.
New College of Florida - The Optical Spectroscopy and Nano-Materials Lab conducts research activities in nanotechnology.
University of Central Florida - The Nanoscience Technology Center conducts research on the following topics:
Nanoscale Optoelectronic Materials and Devices for Energy Conversion
Nanomaterial Chemistry: The Building Blocks of Functional Nanoparticles
NanoScale Quantum Transistors
Center for Nano-Bio Sensors The CNBS strategic research program deals with the following nano research projects:
Biocompatibility Assessment of Nano-Bio Sensors
Photocatalytic Nanocomposite Based Destruction of Microbes
ZnO Nanowire Nanosensors for Biodetection and Identification
Traumatic Brain Injury Nanosensor
DNA Aptamers as Cancer-specific Sensors and Nano-carriers
In 2010, a $1.5 million NSF grant was awarded to a chemistry professor from the University of Florida for the development of a nanotechnology center. This center will analyze and develop a number of techniques to manufacture nanoscale electronics.
In October 2012, the discovery of a new technique for growing materials from nanorods was reported by researchers from the University of Florida. The main aim of the research was to use thermodynamic forces to control the growth of nanoparticles into superparticles. Through this study, the researchers intend to prove the efficacy of these particles for early-stage cancer detection.
Earlier in 2012, Florida International University embarked on a joint project with a number of other institutions to develop personal health monitoring devices, such as tooth caps, wearable devices like watches, or patches for clothes, making use of the participants' nanotechnology expertise to create advanced biosensors, compact energy storage systems, and efficient wireless transmission units.
With such promising developments and discoveries in the field of nanotechnology, Florida is likely to experience rapid growth in its nanotechnology sector in the coming years.