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Albany NanoTech to Receive Federal Appropriation

by Carol Olechowski (September 12, 2003)

U.S. Rep. John Sweeney (R-Clifton Park) visited the Center for Environ mental Sciences and Technology Management (CESTM) August 12 to announce a $5 million appropriation for Albany Nano Tech at the University at Albany. The funding will enable the center to focus on developing technologies that will help the U.S. Navy to run ships on electric power so that they perform more quickly, quietly, and cleanly. Research related to these technologies also promises to have important applications to such fields as health care, energy, and homeland security.

Sweeney, whose appointments include service on the House Appropriations Com mittee and the Subcommittee on Home land Security, said that the funding is included in a multi-billion-dollar bill approved by the Appropriations Com mittee in a voice vote. He expects that the legislation will be approved by formal vote in both the House of Representa tives and the U.S. Senate in October, with the funding provided to Albany NanoTech next year.

To develop the technologies, Albany NanoTech will partner with such high-tech firms as MTech, a Ballston Spa-based firm founded to explore technologies relevant to Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRIs. MTech, according to Sweeney, will receive a $1.5 million federal grant to create an innovative method for enhancing power electronics, using cryogenic cooling to improve current-carrying capacity, device speed, and component reliability. This combination, in turn, will make possible the development of a family of compact, highly efficient, reliable devices targeted for 21st-century power technologies. The U.S. Naval Research Laboratories will also be involved in the research, as will Starfire Systems Inc., which designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes pre-ceramic polymers for ceramic composites. Starfire, whose products are used in power generation, spacecraft, aircraft, transportation, thermal protection, and filtration, is a tenant in Malta’s Saratoga Technology and Energy Park (STEP), a joint venture of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), UAlbany, and the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation.

In announcing the appropriation, Sweeney noted that the Capital Region “has been moving forward, especially in the last three to five years, to realize a rebirth” in terms of job creation and economic growth. He credited Gov. George Pataki and other state and local leaders with working to transform New York’s business climate from “the industrial revolution to a technological society.”

Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings observed that the latest achievement made possible through the cooperation of education, government, and business “isn’t about Albany or Albany County. It’s about the Capital Region. This is about creating jobs, educating our children, and giving them an opportunity to stay where they receive their education.”

Albany NanoTech Executive Director Alain Kaloyeros expressed appreciation for the appropriation. “We are extremely grateful to Congressman Sweeney for his visionary leadership and continued support in advancing New York’s and UAlbany’s high-tech and educational initiatives,” said Kaloyeros, a professor of physics who also heads Focus Center-New York and serves as dean of the University’s School of NanoSciences and NanoEngineering.

Albany NanoTech is a global research, development, technology deployment and education resource supporting accelerated high-technology commercialization and job creation through leveraged partnerships among business, government, and academia.


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