Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. announced today that the recently passed Defense Appropriations Bill signed into law by President Bush on November 12, 2007, provides for $7 million in federal funding related to two of its ongoing advanced research and development projects. This confirms funding, which was prospectively discussed by the company on October 4, 2007.
The first project, which is to receive $5 million, is directed toward a continuing project with the U.S. Navy involving the production of a 2.5-megawatt stationary power supply. The objective of the power supply project is to reduce the Navy's dependence on diesel fuel. Currently, each Navy ship must run two diesel generators in parallel to ensure power is not lost should the primary generator go down. Altairnano's advanced lithium titanate energy storage pack could replace the back-up generator, allowing the Navy to reduce its consumption of fuel by millions of gallons each year.
The development of a sensor that can detect minute amounts of explosive materials and chemical warfare agents is the focus of the second project, which is a previously announced collaboration with Western Michigan University. The $2 million in funding will allow Altairnano to increase the sensitivity of its nanotechnology platform, with the goal of bringing a handheld sensor to the military in the near term.
"We firmly believe that our technology can reduce the Navy's dependence on imported oil and provide protection for our soldiers on the battlefield," said Alan J. Gotcher, Ph.D., Altairnano's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We thank Congress and President Bush for funding the two projects and for recognizing that emerging companies have an important role to play in strengthening our nation."