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Nanotechnology Flourishes in NC

Carolina Headlines - Nanotechnology

RALEIGH, NC – In an example of how innovation and technological advances can help spur economic recovery, nanotechnology is playing a role in creating jobs and commercializing new green technologies that will help consumers save energy. High Point nanotechnology company QuarTek, a spin-out company of North Carolina's Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, recently received both a One N.C. Small Business Program grant and a Green Business Fund grant. Both programs are administered by the N.C. Dept. of Commerce's Office of Science and Technology.

QuarTek has collaborated with Vesture, another Green Business Fund grantee, to launch a new company called Phase Change Materials. Phase Change Materials produces an innovative, green energy-saving nanomaterial that can be used in the foil lining of pizza delivery bags and fast food wrappers to better insulate food, as well as in homes. As a result of the innovation that was facilitated by the Office of Science and Technology grants, Phase Change materials has created 25 new jobs to date and anticipates a four- to five-fold growth in the next two years.

According to Reyad Sawafta, founder of QuarTek, the opening of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering in Greensboro means that companies like his can now benefit greatly from convenient local access to nanotechnology equipment, resources, and researchers. The school a partnership between N.C. A&T University and UNC-Greensboro, is one of the first institutions in the Southeast that will grant Ph.D. degrees in nanotechnology. The N.C. Office of Science and Technology's 2006 Nanotechnology Roadmap helped pave the way for the creation of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.

In another sign that nanotechnology is playing a more prominent role in North Carolina's innovation economy, U.S. Rep. Brad Miller recently toured several North Carolina companies and research laboratories involved in nanotechnology, including the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, and One N.C. Small Business Program Grant recipient Protochips.

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