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News Forum

Eleven companies, researchers awarded grants

"Live long and prosper" could be the tagline for this year's Research and Technology Development (RTD) grant winners. Disease prevention, greener living, and raising the bar on performance were popular themes among the most recent round of grants awarded by Washington Technology Center (WTC).

RTD grant winners for July 2006 are 3TIER, Seattle; Cadwell Laboratories, Kennewick; Calypso Medical Technologies, Inc., Seattle; EnergG2, Seattle; Hummingbird Scientific, Lacey; Infometrix, Inc., Bothell; Insitu, Bingen; Kronos Air Technologies, Redmond; MicroGREEN Polymers, Arlington; SpringStar USA, Inc., Woodinville; and VentriPoint, Seattle.

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WTC awarded $952,414 through its RTD program to 11 Washington companies teamed with state researchers from the University of Washington, Washington State University and Swedish Medical Center.

Winning proposals outlined breakthrough discoveries in everything from heart disease to hydropower, psychoses to pest control, cancer prevention to chromatographs, robust energy storage to robotic reconnaissance aircraft.

Thermal management was a "hot" issue this year as well with projects taking on such challenges as high temperature testing for nanotech applications, air handling systems for micro-electronics and heat-resistant food packaging made from eco-friendly materials.

WTC allocates more than $1.2 million annually to the RTD grants program, which provides seed funding to entrepreneurial companies teamed with university researchers on technology projects that show strong commercial potential. Applicants are eligible for financial awards ranging from $100,000 for initial proof-of-concept projects to up to $300,000 for multi-phase research.

The process is competitive and the goal is clear: to transition our state's most promising innovations into commercial products, company growth and high-wage jobs. The Washington Technology Center has supported 293 technology commercialization projects through its RTD program since 1995.

These grants have proved effective in helping these companies transition novel technologies from "good ideas" into commercially-viable ventures. From this initial funding, these companies are better able to attract add-on funding from federal grants, angel investors, and industry partners. Annual follow-up surveys show that WTC–assisted companies have been successful in leveraging RTD grants into more than $400 million in additional funding.

WTC estimates that through its work with Washington entrepreneurs, over 7,000 new technology jobs have been created in our state, many of these from RTD Award recipients. This round of grants is expected to generate roughly 250 full-time technology jobs in Washington over the next two to five years.

July 2006
RTD Grant Winners

3Tier
Seattle
Research Partner:
Andrew Wood, PhD, UW Civil & Environmental Engineering

Cadwell Laboratories
Kennewick
Research Partner: James Wise, PhD, WSU-TriCities

Calypso Medical Technologies (*project canceled)
Seattle
Research Partner:
Timothy P. Mate, MD, Swedish Medical Center

EnergG2
Seattle
Research Partner: Guozhong Cao, PhD, UW Materials Science & Engineering

Hummingbird Scientific
Lacey
Research Partner:
Karl Bohringer, PhD,
UW Electrical Engineering

Infometrix
Bothell
Research Partners: Jaromir Ruzicka, PhD, Mel Koch, PhD, UW Center for Process Analytical Chemistry

Insitu
Bingen
Research Partner:
Rolf Rysdyk, PhD, UW Aeronautics & Astronautics

Kronos Air Technologies
Redmond
Research Partner:
Alexander Mamishev, PhD, UW Electrical Engineering

MicroGREEN Polymers
Arlington
Research Partner:
Vipin Kumar, PhD, UW Mechanical Engineeering

SpringStar USA, Inc.
Woodinville
Research Partner:
R. Bruce Darling, PhD,
UW Electrical Engineering

VentriPoint
Seattle
Research Partner:
Florence Sheehan, MD,
UW Medical Center

Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Read more

    Related WTC links:

  • is a WTC client

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  • WTC Executive Director accompanies Governor on trade mission

    Washington Technology Center (WTC) executive director Lee Cheatham accompanied Washington Governor Chris Gregoire on a trade mission to Australia and New Zealand in May, 2006. Dr. Cheatham was one of 20 delegates who traveled down under to meet with government officials, business executives, and scientific researchers in Queensland, New South Wales, and Auckland.

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    "There are a number of intriguing parallels between Queensland and Washington that makes both states strong candidates for innovation-driven economic growth." says Lee Cheatham, Executive Director for Washington Technology Center and trade mission delegate. "This visit allowed us to explore these more closely, compare notes on what's been successful, and leverage our collective strengths to the economic advantage of both regions."

    Washington Technology Center is the statewide organization tasked with driving economic development based on innovation and technology in Washington. The Washington State Legislature has mandated WTC as the champion for a number of programs and initiatives around research innovation and industry growth.

    Many of the programs led by WTC closely align with those of the Queensland government. Both emphasize the value of a strong R&D; base as a driver of economic growth and align priorities for funding, development and facilities to encourage activities in the areas of research and technology commercialization. These commonalities which will be useful in strategic discussions between the states on partnership opportunities in research, development and trade.

    WTC's Industries of Distinction program enhances Washington's competitiveness by accelerating market adoption of niche technology sectors where Washington is uniquely positioned to become a world leader. Examples include micro-electronics, renewable energy, and nanotechnology. These industries are often classified as "emerging" and provide opportunities to diversify and complement industries where Washington is already competitive, such as software, aerospace and life sciences.

    It is the latter, biotechnology and biomedicine, which were at the crux of the governor's trip to Australia. This industry is on the top of both states' priority lists as a particularly strong growth sector and an area where research and commercialization partners could be fruitful. In April, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire and Queensland Deputy Premier Anne Bligh entered into a partnership agreement to develop collaborative projects in biotechnology and biomedicine. The trade mission strengthened this partnership by encouraging dialogue and information-sharing that will provide the basis of a strong development alliance between the two governments.

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    New High-Tech Research Lab Slated for Vancouver

    A proposal to build a new semiconductor and micro device research and development laboratory in Vancouver, Washington recently got a jump start thanks to Congressman Brian Baird. In June, Representative Baird, whose district encompasses southwest Washington, secured $100,000 in federal funding to be used towards Phase I development of the facility.

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    The laboratory is part of a broader regional economic development plan being led by the Washington Technology Center, the Columbia River Economic Development Council, and local semiconductor businesses such as nLight Photonics and Sharp Laboratories. The plan, known as the Semiconductor Industry Reinvestment Initiative, will help sustain job growth and accelerate future economic development in Southwest Washington. This region already has a strong cluster of start-up and established companies working in the fields of semiconductors and microelectronics.

    "This funding will create jobs and spur economic development by helping existing high-tech businesses grow and attracting new businesses and researchers to our region," said Congressman Baird. "I have long supported public-private partnerships in education, and this is a very promising program."

    The $100,000 secured by Congressman Baird will come from the Housing and Urban Development Economic Development Initiative's Facilities Construction/Renovation account.

    "The lab is a key element of our strategy to build a foundation for innovation for our existing and future technology businesses," says Bart Phillips, President of the Columbia River Economic Development Council. "This initial investment is a critical step forward and is the direct result of the collaborative partnership driving this initiative."

    The new Clark County facility will be sited on the Washington State University-Vancouver campus. The lab will provide high-tech businesses and academic researchers in Southwest Washington with a local resource for conducting leading-edge semiconductor and micro device research. Building, furnishing and managing a facility of this caliber is a multi-million dollar investment. Most companies that conduct research in the fields of microelectronics are in their growth stages and can't afford to build and maintain this caliber of process development and prototyping in-house.

    Phase I development of the research center includes planning and constructing a small clean room in an existing space near the WSU-Vancouver campus and purchasing equipment to develop a foundation of standard semiconductor and micro device fabrication processes at the lab.

    The Vancouver facility will be modeled after the Washington Technology Center's Microfabrication Laboratory located on the University of Washington campus in Seattle. Built in 1995, WTC's Microfab Lab is an example of a successful $6.5 million public-private venture. At the time, Washington was gaining recognition for its strengths in micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), a key process used in numerous leading-edge commercial applications. The facility filled a critical need for the state's growing base of research engineers working in the MEMS field. Over the last 10 years the lab has matured into a self-sustaining business bringing in over $1 million in revenue annually. And it will soon be expanding its capabilities to cater to the next generation of technologies which will integrate nano-scale processes into product development.

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    Global Competitiveness, Convergence central themes at 2006 Technology Summit

    Editorial Recap
    By Lee Cheatham, executive director of Washington Technology Center

    The Washington Technology Summit, held April 28 in Redmond, brought people from across the Pacific Northwest together to explore and discuss the impact and promise of innovation.

    The Tech Summit was created as a day for dialogue. This year, more than 500 people participated in this regional forum—and there was no shortage of lively discussion. As one participant commented "No matter who I sat next to, they were willing to talk about what they were doing. Not many conferences are like that."

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    Industries with Impact
    Like the first Summit in 2005, this year's event explored four industries that are making significant impact on the state's economy. The focus industries for 2006 Summit were agriculture, energy, software and aerospace.

    We were fortunate to get top rate speakers that outlined the core strengths, challenges, and opportunities in each of these industries and led compelling discussions. From each of these dialogues, trends emerged that provide a springboard for economic development planning for Washington's future.

    Agriculture is a dominant industry in our state, accounting for 13 percent ($28 billion) of Washington State's $223 billion dollar economy.* Despite this strength, agriculture continues to face extremely strong global competition. One of Washington's competitive advantages is its proximity to rapidly-growing Asian markets. Washington is the closest U.S. port to Asia and over one-third of our crops and processed foods are exported. Even more than in other global markets, competitive forces in agriculture play out at a local level because most of our small businesses and farmers are in rural communities. Simply put, they are concerned about staying in business. Most people in the industry know they must aggressively adopt new innovations and embrace new markets. They also know that because they live on a razor's edge of profitability long-term investments can be risky. Therefore, any new solutions, technology-based or otherwise, must absolutely increase profits. Technology is beginning to assert itself in agriculture, especially in the areas of biofuels and bio-enhanced food processing and crop yield – areas where Washington's innovative strengths are proving fruitful.

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    WTC Executive Director Lee Cheatham addresses the crowd at the 2006 Washington State Technology Summit

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    Energy sessions proved popular with attendees. Our current demand for energy is high – exceeding supply – a problem we need to deal with quickly and aggressively. Summit dialogue also brought to light common myths and misconceptions about energy—its production, its sale and its use. For example, many people exhibit trepidation about hydrogen fuel, equating it with the explosive image of the Hindenburg. In truth, hydrogen's properties make it a safer fuel than propane or natural gas. Misconceptions also plague biofuels, with varying opinions around fuel blends and their effect of engines and warranties. Uncertainties around new energy technologies affects the confidence people have in the industry, and more broadly, confidence in our economy. Quality and reliability of our energy system is paramount. It is our job as leaders to dispel these myths and ensure these technologies have the support needed – both scientifically and socially – to penetrate commercial markets.

    Software. Our location at Microsoft's Conference Center for the 2006 Summit provided an appropriate backdrop for discussion around this leading industry. Security was a central theme. As we find more software in embedded and highly-connected systems, security will pose an increasing threat—and, ergo, a prime business opportunity. Attendees and speakers alike noted that strong, value-added and global partnerships are increasingly more critical to the success of a software enterprise. Because software markets are global, partnerships with people that know the local markets and the local players are necessary for companies to remain competitive.

    Aerospace; its future remains up in the air. With Boeing's move from basic manufacturing to assembly the entire supply chain, including Washington's link, will remake itself. And these suppliers will continue to discover related markets where they can provide value – heavy trucks, ships, medical devices. This change will benefit suppliers in the long run, but the impact on Washington's aerospace industry is still unknown. With Boeing's 787 Dreamliner selling well and entering production in 2007, many people feel that the required support for the industry is secure. We can't afford to be this complacent. The industry will evolve rapidly over the next few years. Washington enjoys a commanding position in aerospace, but we are also facing a risk of losing significant portions of our aerospace supply chain. To compensate, we must remain focused on leading-edge solutions in new materials and manufacturing that will keep Washington competitive and continue to fuel this industry's evolving needs.

    Tackling the Trends
    Throughout the day we heard three themes repeated by the plenary speakers.

    First, Washington has a great base of innovators. No speaker demonstrated that more than Rick Rashid who leads Microsoft Research. He gave us a glimpse into the new ideas the company, and the industry, are exploring. How we deal with personal information will continue to change in exciting ways – easier email to personalized photographs and images to traffic management. When we include Microsoft Research with our other premier public and private research institutions, we see a source of new ideas that can't be matched by many other regions around the world.

    Second, we live in a world of global markets – and of global partnerships. David Slater from UK Trade & Investment put it well when he noted "protectionism doesn't work" and reminded the audience that "we can't face the challenges of globalism alone." And he's right. Getting new ideas into sustainable companies that serve global markets is a task that no single group, company or even country can accomplish alone. David's insight is one which we must continually remind ourselves of the power of partnerships.

    Third, workforce and education. Pamela Passman, Microsoft's VP for Global Affairs summarized this sentiment nicely when she said "we're at the start of significant change, but we can't risk falling behind." To ensure that we have the people that can innovate and build globally competitive products, we must ensure our current workforce as well as the next generation have math, science and business skills equal to the best in the world. Other states and countries are making major investments in educating their people and attracting top talent to their research institutions and companies – Washington must do the same.

    Let me close with a final theme that emerged from almost every discussion – convergence. In each of the sessions we heard how industries are moving outside their traditional borders; they are crossing into new areas and adopting new product ideas and business practices.

    *Energy is looking to agriculture for new fuel sources;
    *Software developers are solving significant life sciences problems;
    *New materials in aerospace are being driven by energy demands.

    Continuing this cross-industry dialogue is necessary. Encouraging a next generation of leaders that work in several disciplines at once will be a topic of the Washington Technology Summit for years to come.

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    *Statistics courtesy of the Washington State Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development.

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    Related WTC links:

  • Photos from the 2006 Summit
  • Thank you to our Sponsors

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  • Forensic Science: Technology unites with chemistry to solve crime

    Guest article
    By Dr. Peter Bilous, Eastern Washington University

    We have all seen the "CSI" dramas on television – with crime fighting "super heroes" dashing from the streets to the labs, using numerous gadgets along the way, to solve crime. However, in reality, forensic scientists are not routinely required to attend crime scenes. Instead, they are hard at work in the lab, applying the latest technologies and chemistry principals to evaluate evidence from the crime scene.

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    Forensic scientists are called upon to answer the "who, what, when and where" of crimes. Their training enables them to identify unknown substances such as drugs; link unsolved crimes together through DNA and fingerprint databases; establish associations between victims and suspects (through hair, fiber, fingerprint or DNA evidence); and provide investigative leads (linking types of weapons that fire particular bullets or types of vehicles that leave paint chip evidence at hit-and-run scenes).

    Here are some of the processes and technologies used to answer these questions.

    Forensic scientists utilize a set of chemical and biochemical tests, as well as various light-based instruments, to locate physical evidence. Portable high-intensity light sources that are used by crime scene investigators to locate fingerprints are also used by forensic scientists in the laboratory to find forensic evidence such as carpet fibers or body fluid stains. Once located, evidence is classified by group or class of compounds and/or identified by chemical nature to determine the types of screening and identification tests that will be used.

    Depending on the nature of the crime being investigated, forensic scientists may need to look for chemical evidence – drugs, poisons, paint chips, fibers and explosive residues. Chemical-based screening tests and/or microscopic examinations are used to classify materials. Physical properties such as surface features, colors, melting points and various optical properties can be helpful in classifying fibers, drugs, paint chips or soil samples.

    Micro-spectrophotometers are used to determine light absorption properties of trace quantities of physical evidence. Identification may require the use of chromatography to separate the components of a mixture followed by instrumental methods of analysis such as FTIR-spectrophotometry or mass spectrometry to determine the chemical composition of evidence. Raman spectroscopy, based on the light scattering properties of the sample being examined, is particularly useful for identifying pigments, dyes, fibers, drugs and minerals.

    Perpetrators of crimes may leave behind biological evidence, including blood, semen, saliva or skin cells. Various color-based chemical screening tests are employed to tentatively identify biological material. Identification tests include microcrystal tests (e.g., the Takayama microcrystal test for blood) or immuno-chromatographic tests that detect the presence of hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells.

    Forensic DNA typing analysis – involving the amplification (copying) of a set of genetic markers that exist in many forms within the human population – are then conducted on the biological materials to determine the donor source. The polymorphic nature of these markers provides a means to discriminate between individuals.

    With the increased application of science and technology to solve crime – and all of that television promotion – it's no surprise that forensic science is growing in career popularity.

    Eastern Washington University's forensics program, started in 2003, is popular with students. EWU is fortunate to have a Washington State Patrol Regional Crime Lab located right on campus. This, in addition to other on-campus labs, gives students a unique opportunity to interact with seasoned professionals, research actual cases and solve mock crimes.

    After a recent community presentation, I had a junior high school student approach me to ask detailed questions about forensic science. It reminded me that all of those television dramas aren't so bad after all if they are attracting youth to new technologies that work hand-in-hand with good old chemistry principals – all for a very good social cause.

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    Washington State Patrol Regional Crime Laboratory located at the Eastern Washington University

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    Peter Bilous, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Eastern Washington University.Related external links (will open a new window):

  • EWU program in forensic chemistry

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  • UW iSchool Offers Programs in Information Management

    Guest Column
    In today's hyper-competitive and turbulent environments, the very essence of an organization is determined by how information is managed and leveraged. The Information School (iSchool) of the University of Washington continues to expand professional opportunities in the area of Information Management.

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    The iSchool already offers the Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM), both as a full-time option (Day MSIM) and as a part-time option (Executive MSIM) for working professionals. Recent developments for the iSchool include the establishment of the Institute for Innovation in Information Management, and summer courses in Knowledge Management and Information Architecture.

    In order to stay competitive, an organization must find novel ways to engage its information and knowledge resources through innovation in information management. The Institute for Innovation in Information Management (I3M) is chartered with the mission to be the premier research institute that will help organizations attain agility and competitive successes by managing their most vital assets—information and knowledge. The Institute undertakes research projects shaped by the interests of the research partners and expertise of I3M faculty associates. Discussion at the inaugural meeting of the Institute centered on the theme of Business Continuity, with a specific emphasis on discovering enablers and barriers to transfer of knowledge within communities of practice to support business strategy and drivers.

    The Institute sponsored a one-day symposium in April focused around "Knowledge Management in Turbulent Times." Parsons Brinckerhoff, one of the Institute's partners, presented research undertaken in this area in conjunction with the iSchool. The research examines characteristics of their Practice Area Networks to find indicators of success in moving knowledge across the organization to meet business objectives. The next I3M is set for October 11, 2006. For more information, visit http://depts.washington.edu/iiim/.

    The iSchool also has an upcoming course in Information Architecture.

    Information Architecture Summer Workshop
    September 11 - 15, 2006
    This five-day intensive "Information Architecture Summer Workshop covers the key elements of IA—understanding users’ information needs, building architectural frameworks to store information effectively, proper organizing and labeling of information for improved navigation and search, and perceiving opportunities where information architecture can increase business value. Each of these areas will be explored through lectures, interactive exercises and discussion led by University faculty and industry experts.

    Complete details and registration information is available at Info Architecture.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • I3M
  • Info Architecture

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  • Micro/Nano Breakthrough Conference is July 24-26, 2006 in Vancouver

    There is still time to sign up for the 3rd annual Micro/Nano Breakthrough Conference. This regional event, held July 24 to 26, 2006 at the Hilton Hotel in Vancouver, Washington, is co-hosted by the Washington Technology Center (WTC) and the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (ONAMI).

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    The Pacific Northwest holds a great deal of promise as a region well-positioned to capitalize on the potential offered by scientific discovery and industry innovation in fields where micro and nano technologies stand to transform industries. To illustrate this, the Micro/Nano Breakthrough Conference has put together a comprehensive program dedicated to exploring the potential for this revolutionary technology.

    Special keynote presenters include Dr. Celia Merzbacher, Executive Director of the President's Council on Science and Technology, and White House liaison to the National Nanotechnology Initiative; Dr. James P. Huang, Senior Manager of Boeing's Phantom Works; and Dr. Meyya Meyyappan, Director for the Center for Nanotechnology and Senior Scientist with NASA Ames Research Center.

    MNBC serves as a showcase for the broad range of innovative new technologies encompassed in micro and nano-scale R&D; and commercialization. Sessions cover everything from electronics to energy to agriculture to aerospace.

    Specific topics include:
    *Advances in Forest and Agricultural Products
    *MEMS Hydraulics and Power Generation
    *How Aerospace is Driving Nanomaterials Development
    *Developing Greener Nanotechnology
    *Environmental, Safety and Health Issues
    *Miniaturization in Health Care Technology
    *Breakthroughs in Materials Science
    *Advanced Energy Systems
    *Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment

    Broad topics include:
    *Micro/Nano Basics for Business
    *Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property, and
    *Micro and Nano Science and Technology Driving the Northwest Economy.

    A business and industry trade show will also run throughout the three-day event.

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    Keynote Speakers


    Dr. Celia Merzbacher


    Dr. James P. Huang


    Dr. Meyya Meyyappan

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    Micro/Nano
    Breakthrough Conference

    July 24-26, 2006
    Hilton Hotel, Vancouver, WA

    Cost to attend the conference is $200. Fee includes admittance to all conference sessions, conference meals, breaks, opening reception, and banquet.

    For additional conference details and to register, go to www.micronbc.org.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference

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  • Access IQ: Get 'enlightened' on photonics at Sept. 14, 2006 workshop

    Part of the Microfab Lab's AccessIQ Seminar Series

    The light bulb is the quintessential symbol for "idea." The powerful and multi-functional qualities of light are the basic building blocks to numerous scientific explorations, engineering processes and product developments, including micro and nano-scale applications in the fields of electronics, energy, biomedicine and more.

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    At the next AccessIQ seminar, featured researchers will "bring to light" process development innovations in the realm of photonics. WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory has a highly active and innovative R&D; culture in the field of photonics. For this workshop, academic and industry clients will showcase applications derived from leading-edge processes they are developing in the Lab and implementing into next generation consumer products and services.

    The AccessIQ seminar runs from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and is held at the University of Washington Club on the UW Campus in Seattle. Cost to attend the Photonics workshop is $35. Breakfast and course materials are included. Space is limited.

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    Process Development in Photonics

    Thursday, Sept. 14
    7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

    Registration & Breakfast
    7 - 7:30 a.m.

    Presentation
    7:30 - 9 a.m.

    University of Washington Club, UW Campus, Seattle, WA

    Registration Fee: $35

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • SBIR Breakfast - September 14, 2006

    The Importance of a Solid Business and Commercialization Plan
    Federal grants are one of the best ways for companies to fund critical research needed to further their business development goals, and give them that competitive edge in the commercial market.

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    Any company or academic principle investigator who has been through the proposal process for the Small Business Innovation Research grants program knows that it takes more than just a good idea or scientific breakthrough to win one of these competitive awards. One of the most critical elements of SBIR success is a solid business and commercialization plan. This is especially true for Phase II and III when the pressure is on to show market value.

    Want to learn more about how to put together a savvy business plan that will increase your chances of funding success? Attend WTC’s SBIR Breakfast session on September 28 and hear from Lisa Kurek, grant management consultant, who will walk you through the steps of developing a well-structured and forward-thinking commercialization strategy.

    Admission to the breakfast seminar is $35.

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    Bonus:
    Sign up for a free one-on-one session with Ms. Kurek
    following the formal breakfast session.

    Limited sessions available. Reservations are one a first-come,
    first-served basis.

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    SBIR Breakfast

    September 14, 2006

    7 - 7:30 a.m.
    Breakfast & Registration

    7:30 - 9 a.m.
    Business & Commercialization Plans
    Lisa Kurek, Managing Partner
    Biotechnology Business Consultants

    University of Washington Club
    UW Campus, Seattle, WA

    BONUS
    One-on-One Sessions
    with Ms. Kurek

    9:30 a.m. - Noon
    1:30 - 4 p.m.

    Bowen Room, Fluke Hall

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC SBIR Program

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  • New Energy Technologies Highlighted at Showcase Event in Bellevue - Nov. 15, 2006

    The Northwest Energy Technology Collaborative is hosting the third annual Northwest Energy Technology Showcase (NETS) on November 15, 2006 at Puget Sound Energy in Bellevue, Washington.

    NETS is a unique event that connects energy innovators with utilities, investors and government procurement agencies from around the Northwest region of the U.S. and Canada to accelerate market awareness and adoption of emerging energy technologies.

    This year's showcase will feature 4-5 new companies with leading-edge, market-ready energy solutions. These range from alternative fuels to forecasting to connectivity. These companies will give presentations on their technology and their competitive advantage for the Northwest energy sector. The showcase will also feature graduates from previous showcases who have had success in penetrating the market and leveraging their technology to the advantage of partners, suppliers, and consumers.

    If you are a pioneer in Pacific Northwest energy -- whether as a buyer, seller, investor, or advocate -- this is one event you won't want to miss!

    Cost to attend the Northwest Energy Technology Showcase is $95 and includes all programs, meals and materials.

    Related WTC links:

  • NWETC.com

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  • Dip Pen Lithography Tool Installation Slated for September, 2006

    The WTC Microfabrication Laboratory will be adding a new Dip Pen Lithography tool to its process engineering capabilities this month. The new equipment is scheduled for installation the week of September 18. The Dip Pen will be a primary research tool in WTC's applied nanolithography program. WTC was awarded a three-year contract from the Department of the Navy's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, under the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to develop and prototype an industrial-grade nano-patterning process in its Microfabrication Laboratory.

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    Nanolithography, process techniques for patterning substrates, typically to create MEMS devices or microchips, has broad applications. It allows virtually any material to be patterned onto a wide range of substrates at the molecular level. This opens up endless possibilities for creating more sophisticated materials, sensors, circuitry, and other applications.

    Dip Pen is a form of lithography in which an Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is at the core of the tool used to pattern or "write" to the substrate. It does this by delivering molecules to a surface via a solvent meniscus, similar to the way an ink pen works, but at a much smaller scale.

    Nano-imprint lithography is a different technique to achieve the same result. For this grant project, WTC will create a "master" using an electron beam (e-beam) tool to pattern a substrate. The substrate will then be inserted into the lab's bonder/aligner tool, which will "stamp" or "imprint" the pattern into a second substrate from which a MEMs device or a microchip can be created.

    The goal of the DARPA-funded Dip Pen Lithography project is to see which technique shows more promise in terms of both ultimate resolution and manufacturability. Many promising new lithographic techniques demonstrate excellent resolution but with limitations such as a relatively small geographic area or without the repeatability required for high volume production. WTC will study all of these parameters, compare and contrast techniques, and create an advanced process with the robustness, reliability and scale-ability needed for prototyping and product manufacturing.

    Nanotechnology-based products are estimated to generate $1 trillion in sales over the next decade. Many of Washington's dominant and emerging industries, including life sciences, energy, manufacturing, electronics and agriculture, will directly benefit from nanolithography process development.

    Nano-scale technology demand will most likely emulate microelectronics in that commercial adoption will be driven by price and manufacturability. Robustness and reliability of nano-scale processes will be the benchmark for performance and economy of scale in medical devices, energy systems and materials-based products. The work that WTC will undertake through this grant project will advance these processes toward the quality and volume required for commercial use.

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory

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  •