Nanotechnology in Alabama, USA: Market Report

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Introduction
Nanotechnology Companies
Nanotechnology Research and Education
Recent Developments

Introduction

Alabama is located in the southeastern region of the United States. It covers a total area 135,765 km2 and has a population of 4,802,740 as of 2011.

Alabama’s economy depends on healthcare, aerospace, management, technology, education, manufacturing, finance, retail and mineral extraction. It is the home to hundreds of aerospace companies working in space and defense aviation, automotive manufacturing operations for the likes of Mercedes, Honda and Hyundai as well as over 90 biotechnology-related companies.

By 2008, the state offered a variety of occupations, reducing its reliance on the agricultural sector that started to decline in the 1960's.

Alabama’s 2008 GSP according to the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis was $170 billion. Since the 1990's, the automotive manufacturing industry has contributed significantly to improve Alabama’s economic growth rate. The state’s industrial outputs include plastic, steel and iron products, paper, trucks, wood products, cars, mining, apparels, lumber, electronic and aerospace products.

One of the biggest draw cards to companies locating operations in Alabama is the quality of the states workforce and its highly respected workforce development training program. Their tax structure and incentives, highly ranked business climate, transportation network, site availability and low electricity pricing also makes locating a business there an attractive proposition

Nanotechnology Companies

The major nanotechnology-related company in Alabama is given below along with a brief introduction:

The AEgis Technologies Group - AEgis Technologies is a privately held small business headquartered in Huntsville, Alabama, USA, that provides advanced technology and expert consulting services to industries throughout the world.  AEgis specializes in modeling & simulation (M&S) and micro/nanoscale technology development.  AEgis’ Nanogenesis Division excels in advancing cutting edge micro and nanoscale technologies from concept to deployment with applications ranging from defense to energy to biotechnology.

CFDRC - CFD Research Corporation (CFDRC) specializes in engineering simulations and innovative designs for Aerospace, Biomedical, Defense, Materials, Energy, and other industries. Using our software and experimental facilities, we develop new hardware concepts, innovative designs, and prototypes. We have over 50 patents awarded or pending in the areas of biotechnology, combustion, propulsion, and materials.

CytoViva - Co-developed by Auburn University and Aetos Technologies, Inc., CytoViva’s optical microscopy technology is a 2006 and 2007 recipient of the prestigious R&D 100 award. This award is granted annually to the market’s most innovative new technologies. In 2007, CytoViva also received a Nano50TM award, for its contribution to the fast growing world of nanotechnology research.  In 2009, US patents No. 7,542,203 and 7,564,623 were issued for CytoViva’s advanced microscopy illumination optics.

Nanotechnology Research and Education

Some of the leading academic institutes in Alabama offering courses and research programs in nanoscience and nanotechnology are listed below:

Alabama A&M University - Offers research in the field of nanotechnology through the following projects and organizations.

  • Science and Engineering Projects: The Alabama A&M University conducts nanotechnology science and engineering research projects that encompass the following topics:
    • Nano-Lithography
    • Nano-Antenna
    • Nano-Powder and applications
    • Carbon Based Nano-Composites
    • 3D devices using nano-scale materials
    • Synthesis of Nano-layered
    • Nano-Structures 
  • North Alabama Nanotechnology Organization:  Promotes interdisciplinary research and contract among government agencies, universities, industries and government labs.

Tuskegee University - Promotes research in nanotechnology through the following nano-based research center:

  • Alabama Center for Nanostructured Materials (ACNM): Focuses on developing and characterizing nanostructured materials by infusing nanoparticles at the nascent stage of synthesis of variety of bulk materials that is used in lasers, structures, optics and other kinds of thermoelectric devices to enhance the performance of these devices.

Alabama Nano/Biotechnology and Sensors Workforce Development - Conducts research on the development of metal oxides, nanofibers and metals.

Alabama State University - Conducts nanotechnology research through the following research center:

  • Center for NanoBiotechnology Research (CNBR): Focuses on enhancing research infrastructure to conduct high-quality research the field of nanotechnology. The key research topics of this center include:
    • Development of Nanobiomaterials for Drug Delivery
    • Structural studies of RSV at nanoscale and viral inhibition by nanoparticles
    • Delivery of Nanoparticle Encapsulated Anti­Chlamydial Peptides in an Animal Model
    • Carbon nanotube Attached with ssDNA as nanosensor for detection of Salmonella Typhimurium

Auburn University - Promotes the significance and benefits of nanotechnology through research conducted by AMNSTC.

University of Alabama - Conducts nanotechnology research through the following research center:

  • Nano and micro devices center: Focus on the analyses of integrated nano- and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The ECE courses offered in micro and nano technology include:
    • Nanoscience and Engineering
    • Transistor Fabrication Laboratory
    • Sensor and Actuator Design
    • Plasmonics and Metamaterials
    • Transistor Fabrication Laboratory

Recent Developments

In October 2012, Alabama State University’s Center for NanoBiotechnology Research recently received a five-year grant of $4,995,710 from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The center plans to use this grant to conduct research in diagnosing and treating various diseases, including the new field of nanogenomics

The University of Alabama in collaboration with Tuskegee University plans to develop nano modules to enhance the interest of students in technology, science, mathematics and engineering fields. Tuskegee University was awarded a grants totaling about $16 million towards the development of a wide variety of nanotechnology-based projects. One of these grants valued at $9.9 million will be used for the development of a science education partnership with schools in the Black Belt region.

With such substantial grants for increasing the awareness and significance of nanotechnology in schools, universities and research centers, and initiatives like the Alabama Launchpad fostering entrepreneurs, the state of Alabama is should be prepared to welcome a whole new generation using nanotechnology-based products and services in the coming years if these initiatives are fulfilled.

References

 

Date Added: Mar 13, 2013 | Updated: Mar 22, 2013
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