NEW YORK Executives from the Russian Corporation of Nanotechnologies (Rusnanotech) have concluded their first visit to four U.S. nanotech centers. The fact-finding trip acquainted the Russian execs and their American counterparts with the contingents' respective approaches to nanotech funding and development, with an eye toward collaborative research.
"We wanted to get a more detailed understanding of the principles of the National Nanotech Initiatives and their experience in commercializing nanotechnology," Leonid Melamed, general director of Rusnanotech, said at a press conference here.
"It is important for us to let our American colleagues know about our corporation's goals, tasks and main areas of activity," said Alexander Losyukov, deputy general director for international relations at Rusnanotech.
The delegation met with Clayton Teague, director of the U.S. National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, as well as with members of the interagency Nanoscale Science, Engineering, and Technology subcommittee in Washington. They also visited the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (Nanofab). "We were impressed with the state-of-the-art nano measuring tools," said Melamed.
The delegation participated in the Nano Renewable Energy Summit, at which Melamed was one of the speakers. "We have touched base with Applied Materials, which is investing heavily in alternate energy sources. We will be participating with them in nanotech research in the future toward that end," said Melamed. Applied has invested in solar equipment and has set a road map for manufacturing solar panels using semiconductor production tools.
In June, Rusnanotech signed with Intel to develop technologies for sub-45-nanometer IC node processes.
The delegation also visited the Nanotechnology Center at the University of New York at Albany, "where we were very impressed with the leading-edge technology and equipment that have been poured into nanotech research," said Melamed.
The Russian Corporation of Nanotechnology was established in 2007 by Russian federal law to "provide equitable conditions for research and commercialization of nanotech products," said Melamed. "We have a road map for growing overall investments in nanotech by 2015 in the short term."
At last count, Melamed said, Rusnanotech had some 570 projects seeking funding. "We are currently looking at one project that merits serious consideration: a single spherical optical lens to replace multiple lenses in many scientific applications."
The corporation helps Russian nanotechnology companies enter the global market and helps foster favorable conditions for the development of nanotech infrastructure in the country.
The corporation will co-invest with venture capital firms both in Russia and abroad in nanoindustry projects "with high commercial potential or social benefit," according to its charter. Rusnanotech will also participate in building out the nanotechnology infrastructure, which includes the nanotechnology centers of excellence, business incubators and early-stage investment funds.
"We are making the rounds globally to acquaint us and our future nanotech research partners with each other in Western Europe, China, South Korea, Taiwan and Israel," said Losyukov.
Rusnanotech will organize and run an annual Nanotechnology International Forum in Moscow Dec. 3-5.