Editorial Feature

Nanotechnology in West Virginia, USA: Market Report

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West Virginia is situated in the Appalachian region of the Southern United States. The state spans a total area of 62,755 km2. As of 2012, it had a population of 1,855,413.

The state’s GSP was reported to be $66.8 billion in 2011. Healthcare, manufacturing, and mining are the key (non-government) contributors to the GSP, with natural gas and coal being the essential products for the state’s local economy.

West Virginia is known to export considerable amount of electricity to other states. While most of this electricity is produced from fossil fuels, the state is focused on sourcing clean energy, and had planned to stop its dependence on foreign oil imports by 2013.

The fastest growing industries in the West Virginian economy are the aerospace, and motor vehicle parts and equipment sectors. In addition, the state has strong industries in chemical and polymers, biotechnology and biomedical, and metal sectors, with several leading companies based in West Virginia.

Nanotechnology Organizations

Given below is a short introduction to the leading nanotechnology-related organization in West Virginia.

TechConnect

It is a non-profit organization focusing on the development of science and technology in West Virginia. By supporting innovative technological advancements, the organization intends to play a major role in the state’s economy.

Nanotechnology Research and Education

West Virginia has several top academic institutes that provide research programs and courses in nanotechnology and nanoscience.

West Virginia University

The university supports nanotechnology-based research through the following research centers:

  • Nanotechnology Sensing Advances in Field and Environment (NanoSafe)—Offers infrastructure to support studies on nano-enabled medicine, science, and engineering fields. Research activities in these domains are performed through workforce development and outreach programs. NanoSafe provides research and education to graduate and undergraduate students, postdoctoral students, high-school teachers, and institutions.
  • Nanomedica Group—The Biomaterials, Bioengineering & Nanotechnology Laboratory performs studies in the areas given below:
    • Nanomedicine, controlled/targeted drug delivery for cancer, dental and orthopedic treatments
    • Nanotechnology coatings, sorbents, and capsules
  • EPSCoR—West Virginia University supports research in nanotechnology and nanoscience via the EPSCoR program. The program is designed to offer researchers, the suitable instrumentation and equipment required for their research work.

Marshall University

The university supports nanotechnology-based studies through the following research centers:

  • Center for Diagnostic Nanosystems—Its nanotechnology research facility offers nanotechnology equipment that can be utilized to produce and define nanoparticles.
  • Norton NanoLaboratories—It organizes nanotechnology-based studies on the topics mentioned below:
    • Superconductors
    • Genetic mutations
    • DNA nanostructures
    • Nanotools and nanomachines

Recent Developments

In spite of the fact that nanotechnology fetches more applications by the day, West Virginia has not made any notable nano-tech developments. Therefore, the state is not likely to contribute significantly toward the development of nanotechnology, although there seems to be several centers and departments that are active in the field of nanotechnology.

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