Nanotechnology in Michigan, USA: Market Report

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Nanotechnology Organizations
Nanotechnology Companies
Nanotechnology Research and Education
Recent Developments


Michigan is located in the Great Lakes region of the Midwestern United States. It has a population of 9,876,187 as of 2011 and covers a total area of 250,493 km2.

Michigan’s chief services and products include food products, military equipment, automobiles, mining of iron ore and copper, furniture, aerospace and information technology. Michigan’s 2011 GDP according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis was $385 billion.

Michigan is the global capital of vehicle R&D and is the home to over 330 R&D tech centers, more than anywhere else in North America. It is also the home of 47 of the top 50 global auto suppliers.

With the contraction of the auto industry, Michigan's economy is becoming more diversified producing anything from medical devices to military hardware.

Michigan also houses 360 research sites focused on industrial technology, making it one of the world's highest concentrations of industrial R&D activities.

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is also leading the alternative energy charge. They are aligning key players in industry, academia and government, and are tailoring incentive packages to attract them to Michigan.

Michigan has a 140 year legacy of biotechnology innovation and is experiencing an ever-growing presence of start-up companies developing leading edge products for market. These start-ups also benefit from a region rich in scientific and clinical talent along with world-renowned universities. They also benefit from a float 6 percent corporate tax rate, which is among the lowest in the US.

Nanotechnology Organizations

A brief introduction to the key nanotechnology-related organization in Michigan is given below:

NanoMSU - This organization helps publicizing the nanotechnology educational and research programs happening in the Michigan State University, promotes the development of synergistic collaborations and distributes information related to nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology Companies

The major nanotechnology-related companies in Michigan are listed below along with a brief introduction to each of them:

NanoBio Corp - NanoBio® Corporation is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing novel products for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, based on its patented NanoStat™ technology platform. NanoBio Corp was founded in 2000 as a spin-out from the Center for Biologic Nanotechnology at the University of Michigan. Their main product is a targeted treatment for herpes labialis (cold sores), onychomycosis (nail fungus), acne, cystic fibrosis and mucosal vaccines for influenza, pneumococcal disease, and RSV.

NanoTen, Inc. - NanoTen are a consulting company specializing in Nanotechnology
Their international team of entrepreneurial scientists is the prime source of Nanotechnology Consulting in the US., Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
They have extensive experience in Nanotechnology and are connected to Academic Research, Industry and Government networks in the US., Latin America, Europe, and Asia.

Nanocerox - Nanocerox, Inc develops, refines, manufactures and markets high-technology materials (nanopowders) used as raw materials for products requiring transparency, durability and heat resistance for use in industrial, military, medical and aerospace applications, as well as for use as additives in the chemical processing industry. The Company has created a proprietary development platform that facilitates the creation and manufacture of nanopowders that are used to create transparent polycrystalline ceramic products. In addition, the Company's nanopowders are used as additives and for the base raw material in a variety of other products

Mayaterials Inc. - Mayaterials was founded in January 2003 to commercialize two technologies licensed from the Laine group in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan (UM). One technology uses novel silsesquioxane (SQ) [nanosilica] chemistries to produce organic/inorganic nanocomposites for unique coating systems. The second technology allows direct production of SQs from agricultural by-products, in particular rice hull ash (RHA). RHA is produced in the US. in 100,000 ton/yr quantities and is often treated as a waste product. Mayaterials Inc. is a green technology company with the majority of their products derived from agricultural and biofuel waste@products. The same technologies allow them to recycle the majority of these products providing near zero waste products.   

Nanotechnology Research and Education

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

Central Michigan University - The Central Michigan University Research Corporation (CMU-RC) collaborates with individuals enabling them to explore their innovative ideas on healthcare, food, hospitality, nanotechnology, etc.

Michigan Technological University - Offers the following nanotechnology related courses:

  • Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Nanotechnology focuses on an advanced study of engineering, scientific and technological topics in nanotechnology. This certificate course covers aspects such as:
    • Micro- to nano-scale fabrication and control
    • Characterization
    • Devices, systems and integration
  • Interdisciplinary Minor in Nanoscale Science and Engineering covers a basic introduction to nanotechnology and also provides courses on:
    • Societal Implications of Nanotechnology
    • Fundamentals of Nanoscale Science and Technology and
    • Independent research/study/co-op/enterprise.

Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences - This institute comprises a team of pharmacists, physicians, chemists, engineers, toxicologists, physicists, (bio) informatics specialists and biologists who together focus on the study of nanoscience in medicine and biology.

Michigan State University - The Environmental Nanotechnology Research Group carries out work on:

  • Environmentally sustainable nanotechnology
  • Hybrid treatment systems
  • Membrane processes
  • Multifunctional membranes

Recent Developments

Researchers from the University of Michigan, the Northwestern University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology recently discovered a method to measure methyl mercury that causes harm to fish and pollutes drinking water. To prevent this situation, these researchers invented a convenient and cost-effective method of using nano-velcro to trap pollutants.

The National Science Foundation recently decided to fund artists and engineers from the University of Michigan to the tune of $2 million for a research campaign that aims at analyzing the possibility of lifting nanotechnology into the third dimensional level by using the most ancient art form called origami. Through this program, the researchers plan to explore several techniques to develop nanoscale devices using a number of paper-folding techniques including origami.

These innovative ideas and inventions showcase Michigan’s growing richness in nanotechnology and also highlight the positive impact of nanotechnology on the environment, which is likely to gain importance in the coming years. With the level of nanotechnology activity in Michigan, it is likely to figure significantly in the near future, with clean technology and life sciences likely to be areas of activity.


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