February 20, 2011

SEMATECH, ISMI, UAlbany Team For Nanotech Health Center

By: by Suzanne Deffree, Managing Editor, EDN


Consortium Sematech, its subsidiary, the International Sematech Manufacturing Initiative (ISMI), and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany have teamed up to create the NanoHealth and Safety Center (NSC).

Headquartered at CNSE's Albany NanoTech Complex, NSC will align both ongoing and new programs and initiatives of the research organizations, as well as a host of global corporate partners, to form the nanotechnology health and safety research and development enterprise.

With funding of at least $10 million over the next five years, the international center is expected to catalyze the creation of more than 100 high-tech environmental health and safety (EHS) jobs at the UAlbany NanoCollege.

The NSC will initially focus on four areas: occupational health and safety, to include exposure to nanoparticles in the workplace; environmental health and safety, to assess the impact and life cycles of nanomaterials; resource utilization, to study decreasing water, energy, and chemical usage while increasing efficiency; and proactive collaborative research and development, from new device materials and processing fluids to manufacturing processes and tools.

"Understanding and addressing issues related to occupational and environmental health and safety are paramount to supporting and advancing nanoscale know-how that will revolutionize nearly every industry in the 21st century," Dr Alain Kaloyeros, senior vice president and CEO of CNSE, said in a statement. "With the creation of the NanoHealth and Safety Center, the UAlbany NanoCollege, Sematech, and ISMI are providing proactive leadership, world-class programs, and state-of-the-art resources through a global collaboration to ensure that human health and environmental safety are protected at the same time nanotechnology innovations continue to accelerate at an unprecedented pace."

CNSE Associate Vice President and Director of the Systems Toxicology Laboratory Professor Thomas Begley will serve as director of the NSC. Oversight will be provided by a steering committee consisting of CNSE and ISMI representatives, chaired by Professor Sara Brenner, CNSE assistant vice president for nanohealth initiatives, and an ISMI project advisory board consisting of ISMI, CNSE, and member companies, which will review and approve programs.

Membership in the NSC is open to chipmakers, equipment and materials manufacturers, as well as other participants in the nanotechnology, biomedical, and defense industries. In addition, the NSC and its members will collaborate with a network of companies, consortia, universities, national laboratories, and associations from around the world.