The Marcus Foundation announced a $15 million commitment for Georgia Tech’s Nanotechnology Research Center Building, a facility specifically designed to support interdisciplinary nanoscience and nanotechnology research.
The new building will have 30,000 square feet of cleanroom research space, one of the nation’s largest and an essential element of nanotechnology research. It will offer access to researchers from universities and industries in the region, helping to create new nanotechnology industries and attract industries that will benefit from nanoengineering.
Nanotechnology will produce materials ten times stronger than steel but much lighter in weight, digital storage units the size of sugar cubes that can hold all the information in the Library of Congress, and tiny medical devices that can detect individual cancer cells and target them with specialized treatment.
The commitment was triggered by the state of Georgia’s recent allocation of $38 million for the facility, which completes the state’s total project commitment of $45 million.
Bernard Marcus, the civic leader and philanthropist whose vision and investment made the Georgia Aquarium a reality, is also founder of the Marcus Foundation and serves as its chairman of the board.
“We are delighted to make this commitment for Georgia Tech’s Nanotechnology Research Center Building,” said Marcus. “Nanotechnology holds such amazing promise for truly revolutionizing many facets of our lives, specifically in medicine, while having the added benefit of economic development. The discoveries that will be possible as a result will prove the wisdom of the investment. I am pleased to partner with the state and Georgia Tech in making this research facility a reality.”
“As a son of Russian immigrants to our country, Bernie Marcus represents one of America’s great stories of what determination, hard work, and intelligence can accomplish in our great country,” said Georgia Tech President Wayne Clough. “In spite of setbacks, he realized his dream late in life as a businessman in creating The Home Depot and leading it to a level of success undreamed of. In retirement he once again is demonstrating his passion for life through his good works and philanthropy. He inspired our graduates at our May commencement with his insights, an address given in the shadow of the remarkable Georgia Aquarium, built because of his support and vision.
“This complex man, however, also is committed to helping conquer the diseases that plague mankind,” Clough continued, “and we are proud to announce the grant of $15 million from the Marcus Foundation towards Georgia Tech’s Nanotechnology Research Center Building. This generous commitment will be used to build this unique facility that will open the doors for studies that focus on using breakthroughs from nanotechnology to fight cancer and other diseases.”
Coupled with a $5 million commitment from the Woodruff Foundation last year, the Marcus Foundation’s $15 million commitment pushes the total of private funds for the project past the $20 million mark, the minimum amount required to begin construction. The total private funds goal is $35 million.