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NanoScience Engineering Corporation (nSEC), a spin-out company from Wayne State University, was awarded a Small Business Innovation Research award for nearly $100,000 from the National Science Foundation.
The award, “SBIR Phase I: Supercritical Fluid Processing of Polymer/Clay Nanocomposites,” aims to develop a manufacturing process to achieve superior properties of nano-structured composite materials.
The overall objective in this first phase of the project is to identify the optimum supercritical fluid processing conditions and compare these technologies with the current technologies for polymer/clay nanocomposites. The expected result is to prove that this technology is scalable and represents a profitable opportunity for manufacturing polymer nanocomposites.
According to Judy Johncox, associate director of venture development at WSU, “Nanomaterials is the future for a number of applications from automotive to food packaging to electronics industries. WSU is excited about the potential significant impact this technology may have on Detroit’s dominant industry base that will ultimately help the economy grow.”
Dr. Esin Gulari, professor at WSU, co-inventor of the patents in the nSEC portfolio and co-founder of nSEC, stated that nSEC plans to apply for a phase two SBIR grant in early 2006. “It is expected that this market in the automotive and packaging industries will be over $250 million by 2007. nSEC’s breakthrough technology will be a major factor in accelerating the growth of nanocomposites and other nanoengineered materials,” Gulari stated.
nESC has exclusively licensed technology related to manufacturing advanced nano-scale fillers for enhancing the performance of plastics and rubber. The technology utilizes supercritical carbon dioxide, and environmentally friendly, reusable solvent.
Wayne State University is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. In the past 20 years, Wayne State’s research has grown nine percent annually, with research expenditures reaching over $225 million in 2004. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and beyond.
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