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WTC Releases 2006 Annual Report



Washington Technology Center recently released its 2006 Annual Report. The report represents the culmination of a successful year of accomplishments under the organization's strategic plan and showcases WTC's programs for advancing technology-based economic development in Washington.

Below are a few of WTC's highlights for Fiscal Year 2006

  • Companies and researchers reported close to $84 million in add-on funding and support as a result of WTC's assistance -- this is a 30 to 1 return on investment.
  • Awarded research grants totaling close to $1 million to 20 Washington companies.
  • Received $1.36 million in funding to lead new programs in biodiesel and nanotechnology.
  • Launched Northwest Energy Angels, the first regional energy venture group in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Helped Washington start-ups secure $3.1 million in private capital through WTC-affiliated Angel Investment Groups.
  • Reached out to more than 430 people about the Small Business Innovation Research program.
  • Our second annual Washington Technology Summit, held at Microsoft in Redmond, attracted more than 500 attendees.

Related WTC links:

  • Download WTC's 2006 Annual Report

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  • WTC, Energy Northwest collaboration broadens reach in Eastern Washington

    The Washington Technology Center and Energy Northwest (ENW) are working together to reach out to innovators in Eastern Washington. WTC and ENW have inked a deal to combine the responsibilities for leading ENW's Applied Process Engineering Laboratory (APEL) with WTC's newly-created position for an on-the-ground champion for technology entrepreneurship.

    WTC will hire a new staff person located in the Tri-Cities to serve both as the APEL Director and WTC's Outreach Manager. WTC and ENW have highly complementary programs and purposes. APEL is a technology business start-up center located in Richland, Washington and owned and operated by Energy Northwest. WTC is a state-charted organization, headquartered in Seattle, whose mission is to advance economic opportunities for Washington through technology commercialization and business growth.

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    The new hire will provide sales, marking, administrative and financial management for the APEL facility. For WTC, he or she will provide project leadership for WTC's federal SBIR counseling program. He or she will also provide outreach and support for WTC's research grants, regional angel networks, business consulting services, and other programs.

    An alliance of this nature makes sense for WTC and APEL. Both organizations are not-for-profit organizations and have as part of their mission the charter to assist and support innovation-based ventures. Their shared intent is to create and grow new business and new jobs with technology being the catalyst for this growth. Both organizations originated out of a desire to channel public investment towards providing much-needed services such as access to facilities and funding assistance for start-up and growth-stage companies.

    "APEL has been a community success operating under a sustainable business model" says Jack Baker, Vice President of Energy Northwest. "The marriage of APEL and WTC is the right idea at the right time."

    WTC and APEL also both embrace a philosophy of collaboration and encourage the cross-pollination of ideas and partnership among academics, business entrepreneurs and executives, and government and civic economic development groups.

    WTC Executive Director Lee Cheatham sees the shared resource as a smart model for how organizations with similar missions can share resources and still achieve the goals of both groups. "Fiscally, it makes sense, but it is also strategic from a program perspective," explains Dr. Cheatham. "Having one point of contact allows technology companies to plug into a larger network of services with seamless transition," he adds. "It's one-stop shopping with a local connection."

    As a statewide organization, WTC serves a large and diverse base of customers that are widely distributed throughout the state and that each have unique needs based on the business culture in their region.

    "We're looking forward to reaching out to these folks more effectively," adds Cheatham. "Setting up a satellite office in Tri-Cities is one way we're doing this. We already work closely with the technology leaders in that community such as PNNL, Energy Northwest, WSU Tri-Cities and TRIDEC. Having a physical presence in the region will strengthen these alliances even more."

    Over time, WTC hopes to expand the Tri-Cities collaboration model and set up similar satellites in regions such as Vancouver, Bellingham and Spokane, in partnership with local technology and economic leaders.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Applied Process Engineering Laboratory (APEL)

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  • MFL, CN Probes Partner in Breakthrough Growth of Carbon Nanotubes

    In one of the most famous scenes in the 1967 film, The Graduate, Walter Brook's character Mr. McGuire ceremoniously intimates to protagonist Benjamin Braddock (portrayed magnificently by Dustin Hoffman) that "Plastics" are the next big thing.

    Thirty years later, you might hear a similar statement touted by recent Columbia graduate and CN Probes CEO Brian Ruby. Only instead of plastics, the catch phrase is "Carbon Nanotubes."

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    Ruby, a New York college graduate-cum-Washington state business entrepreneur, is a client of the Washington Technology Center's Microfabrication Laboratory (MFL) and a key player in a successful joint research project between CN Probes and the MFL to develop and grow carbon nanotubes (CNTs) on a silicon wafer. The team recently completed groundbreaking research that did, in fact, successfully grow CNTs on a targeted location and confirmed the growth through various spectroscopic techniques. It is estimated that only four or five research groups in the world have achieved similar results on this scale.

    The CNTs grew out of pure collaboration. WTC's facility had the right tools in place to spark this type of innovation. According to Ruby, these capabilities extended beyond the lab's physical equipment such as the furnace used to grow the CNTs and the UW Nanotechnology User Facility's Raman Spectrum used to verify the results. "It's the collaborative environment of the Microfab Lab that makes these kinds of breakthroughs possible," he says. "It's a highly supportive and creative culture. The staff is just as committed to discovery and process innovation as their clients," Ruby notes. "Plus, WTC understands 'start-up mode' and work with their customers to keep access up, costs down and IP protected."

    Lab Manager Michael Hjelmstad concurs. He says that working with clients like CN Probes, PCB Piezotronics, and Microvision, who are pioneers in their fields, is inspiring and the goal of the lab is to go beyond just providing equipment and training and be a true research partner.

    "Imagine WTC is an architect who builds the ultimate kitchen for master chefs of various cuisines," explains Hjelmstad. "Brian Ruby has brought the lab his own special CNT recipe. That's a good analogy for the Carbon Nanotubes project."

    Hjelmstad also praises the assistance of the University of Washington's Nanotechnology User Facility, also housed in Fluke Hall, WTC's headquarters and the location of WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory. "We could not have confirmed the CNT growth without the assistance of Dong Qin and her team," Hjelmstad notes. "They were an invaluable partner and resource throughout this process."

    While still in the very early stages, carbon nanotubes have been lauded for their potential product versatility. The material is widely applicable to numerous applications and has been praised for its unique properties.

    However, when trying to integrate CNTs into a small-scale device, such as Nantero's nanotube based memory, CN Probes' molecular imaging probes or a new Intel processor, issues of scalability, reliability and reproducibility arise. With the new system at MFL, CN Probes and WTC are attacking these issues head on and making great progress. They are not the first team to grow carbon nanotubes, but they are part of an elite few that claim to be able to grow them under manufacturing conditions.

    Brian Ruby is optimistic this can be done. He sees CNTs as having high value in developing targeted applications for drug discovery. Ruby is aiming to evolve a process to grow an entire wafer of tubes on micro-machined atomic force microscope tips, which will vastly improve the resolution and utility of atomic force microscopes, a molecular imaging technique used by virtually everyone doing nanotech research.

    Related WTC links:

  • Carbon Nanoprobes is a WTC client
  • WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • 2007 Tech Summit Focuses on Local Industries, Global Competition

    Mark your Calendar for the 3rd annual Washington Technology Summit, set for April 12, 2007.

    This premier industry innovation conference, presented by the Washington Technology Center, brings together business, academic, government and civic leaders from across the Pacific Northwest to share ideas and strategize on how benefit from the state's natural innovation aptitude both locally and globally.

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    WTC's Tech Summit has become a central hub for discussing both the broad issues that drive technology-based economic growth, and the individual opportunities, trends, and challenges that faces particular industries that offer particular promise for future growth and global commerce.

    This year's Summit will be held at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue. The four focus industries for 2007 are Energy, Life Sciences, Nanotechnology and Wireless & Telecommunications.

    In addition, the overarching theme for the event will encompass not only the unique opportunities and existing regional strengths of each of these industries, but also how to position Washington, and the Pacific Northwest, to be more competitive in these areas on a grander, global scale.

    The conference structure includes opportunities to come together in large groups through plenary sessions and also to hone in on each industry in-depth through smaller breakout sessions. One of the best features of this conference is also its networking potential.

    Watch for more information about the 2007 Tech Summit to be delivered to you over the coming months.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2007 Washington
    Technology Summit

    Succeeding in a
    Global Economy

    April 12, 2007
    7 a.m. - 6 p.m.

    Meydenbauer Center
    Bellevue, WA

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    2007 Focus Industries
    -Energy
    -Life Sciences
    -Nanotechnology
    -Wireless & Telecommunications

    Related WTC links:

  • Washington's Innovation Summit

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  • Bellingham Angel Group Helps Startups Take Flight

    Angel investors put faith in little companies' big ideas
    By Jessica Evans
    Typically, angels are more often felt than seen. A group of 25 angels – the majority of whom reside in Whatcom County – is no different.

    The Bellingham Angel Group describes "angels" within the investment community as high net worth individuals who fill in the investment gap between initial investors such as friends and family, and traditional venture capitalist investors. The Bellingham Angel Group tends to focus on early-stage companies that need more capital investment than can usually be generated by the entrepreneur, but are not sufficiently developed to attract the interest of today's average venture capital group.

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    The Center for Venture Research at the University of New Hampshire, which does research on angel investments, estimates the total investment from angels in the United States is between $20 billion and $50 billion as compared to the $3 to $5 billion per year that the formal venture capital community invests at this stage.

    For confidentiality purposes, Bellingham Angel Group members are not publicly identified. In an effort to help the community understand their ambitions, three members have agreed to identify themselves and give the public a rare peek into a low-profile group working to improve the economic future of Northwest Washington through targeted local investments.

    Atypical angels
    Glenn Butler isn't your typical angel. His wife and three children likely agree. He holds a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Oregon State University and completed the advanced management program at Harvard University's Graduate School of Business.

    Like Butler, the title of angel is at the bottom of a long list of occupational titles for Ralph Bennett. Bennett's list includes founder, director, vice president, president and CEO – all of which he became at the Vancouver, B.C.-based PMC-Sierra, Inc. (NASDAQ: PMCS), prior to retiring in 1996. Bennett's acquisition of several titles began with a series of high-tech startups such as Vermont Semiconductor, RSA Security (NASDAQ:RSAS) and Mitel, now called Zarlink Semiconductor (NYSE:ZL), which he founded, invested in and led as CEO.

    Butler and Bennett have two things in common: a healthy fiscal profile and a passion for investing a portion of their wealth within the Northwest Washington community to help others achieve success with their business endeavors and livelihoods. These commonalities are the reasons Butler and Bennett helped found the Bellingham Angel Group in 2005 and added one more title to their lists, angel.

    Butler and Bennett are unique, but they are not flying solo. In fact, the two are only a couple of many local investors who desire to invest in seed – or early-stage companies in the Bellingham region.

    To qualify as an angel investor, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission requires that the individual have either a net worth exceeding $1 million, individually or with a spouse, or have an individual income of $200,000 or joint income with a spouse exceeding $300,000 in each of the most recent two years and a reasonable expectation of reaching the same level in the coming year. Bellingham Angel Group members engage in the high-risk, high-return practice of "angel investing."

    "One of the things that early-stage companies are missing is the ability to transform excellent ideas into real financial results," Butler says.

    Statewide solutions
    The Bellingham Angel Group is part of a wider network of angels in Washington state under the auspices of the Washington Technology Center (WTC) Angel Network and is a member of Angel Capital Association. The group also works with the Alliance of Angels in Seattle, The Puget Sound Venture Group, The Northwest Entrepreneur Network and the Angel Forum in Vancouver, B.C.

    "This wide network of angels and investors with whom we share information and opportunities, together with our local Bellingham community relationships will insure that we are a significant and important part of the investment community in our city and state," Bellingham Angel Group Chair Bruce MacCormack says.

    In partnership with the WTC, the Bellingham Angel Group is dovetailing the mission to channel state and federal funding for research and business development and foster mutually beneficial partnerships between technology companies, academic researchers and laboratory facilities across the state. Through the WTC, Washington state channels millions of dollars to high-technology companies.

    Although Bellingham experienced a loss of 2 percent in employment this year within two of its leading industries – wireless telecommunications and petroleum/coal products manufacturing – Bellingham placed first in the state for new company starts, according to the WTC report "2006 Washington Index of Innovation and Technology." It shined in new company creation – capturing the top spot in the state for birth rates on a per capita basis. Bellingham's 2,569 new company starts were more than double some of its peer regions.

    Bellingham reflects many of Washington state's positive results from the WTC report. Washingtonians are innovators. The state leads the country with the generation of new ideas and the translation of these ideas into commercially successful products and services. Washington had the highest rate of new company formation for five years running until neighboring Idaho recently took the lead. Montana ranks third. This strong performance by Northwest states exemplifies that this region is a clear leader in entrepreneurial growth. As groups like the Bellingham Angel Group invest in this innovation by helping startup companies, more jobs are created and, ultimately, the region benefits from a more robust economy.

    According to the Angel Capital Association, the return on startup company investment is huge. For instance, with each dollar the state has invested in the WTC, 14 additional dollars have been invested in the economy. Millions of dollars in funding have allowed local companies to develop new products and create additional jobs, the latter of which Butler and Bennett specifically believe Northwest Washington needs to capitalize on.

    MacCormack says applicant companies seek as little as $150,000 to as much as $1.5 million or more and individual angels typically set aside between $50,000 and $500,000 to invest in a given company.

    Interestingly, the group itself does not make investments. It is merely a conduit for individual angel investors to enter into discussions with the company's executives to negotiate the investment.

    "It is likely, at least among the Bellingham Angels, that individual investments of around $25,000 to $50,000 would be the norm, bearing in mind that angels may make several different investments in any year," MacCormack says. "Smaller amounts invested over several opportunities spread the risk/return ratio in what is after all, a high risk environment. It is not uncommon for a number of angels to combine together to invest in a startup company, although their individual participation level may vary."

    Former WTC Angel Network Manager Nate Silverman emphasized that although a successful angel investor can expect to average a 20- to 30-percent return on their investment, angel investing is extremely high risk.

    "Angels should expect to lose everything on a number of investments, do OK on others and do really well on very few — maybe 10 to 20 percent," Silverman says. "That means only one or two out of 10 investments are ‘home runs' and have to compensate for the losses to make the average portfolio return on investment acceptable.

    Considering the risk/return ratio, it is understandable that investors expect a higher return than the stock market, which averages about 10 percent return per year."

    MacCormack says economic growth is spurred by "private motivations with public results."

    "At the most basic level, investors invest in companies they think will grow large quickly," MacCormack says. "Growth can thus be measured in market value, but also in revenue and size such as the number of employees."

    Despite its relatively fast high-tech employment rate within the aircraft manufacturing industry, Bellingham isn't exactly a hotbed of early-stage investment activity. Butler says the creation of the Bellingham Angel Group was the logical solution to helping entrepreneurs with big ideas and little money when the banks shied away from shouldering above-average risk.

    The primary advantage for the group is that it provides an efficient means of gaining access to the best investment opportunities while the community benefits in that the angels offer a focal point for early-stage investing with a simple, streamlined process for engagement.

    "I expect the group to make several million dollars in investments over the next few years," Bennett says.

    MacCormack warns, however, that angel investing isn't for most startups. Simply asking will not do for companies seeking angel investors. A few hurdles exist in the group's formally established investment opportunity review process.

    Since its creation, the group has received more than 50 applications from companies. After the next quarterly meeting, only 15 of the 50 companies will have been allowed to present to the group.

    "Preceding our next member meeting, 13 companies were reviewed and three have been selected to present," MacCormack says. "At this point it is estimated that about 20 percent of companies either have some funding in place or are in the process of term sheets or due diligence to that end."

    Potential opportunities are based on depth of management team, strength of technology or service offerings and potential for high returns. Bennett says his criteria for deciding what companies to invest in comprises the following three areas: technology viability, market opportunities and capabilities of the principals involved.

    Here's how: Companies seeking to present their business proposition to the angels must apply to the screening committee. This five-member committee reviews the applications and determines which companies they want to invite to a screening committee presentation. Those invited are allowed to make a one-hour presentation about their company and its investment needs. If the committee approves, only then is the company allowed to make a 10-minute presentation at a Bellingham
    Angel Group quarterly meeting.

    As a member of the Bellingham Angel Group screening committee, Butler explains the secret of achieving a successful pitch is adhering to the tough criteria.

    "Keep it short; don't spend all your time trying to convince me you have invented the best mousetrap," Butler says. "Convince me you actually own the rights to the mousetrap; have the management expertise to commercialize the mousetrap; understand the potential market and your competition in the mousetrap arena; scale up to a level that piques my interest; and finally, convince me that there is an exit strategy for me to get my money out of your company."

    Scoring one or more angels frequently brings more than just a direct, personal investment between $10,000 and $100,000 to an early-stage company or business idea. Most often, angels are corporate executives, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists or have family wealth. Diverse experiences within these backgrounds often provide counsel, strategic direction and management accountability as added values to the company.

    Butler, for example, is a business consultant specializing in the fields of energy, environment, safety and public affairs. He is the former plant manager for the Cherry Point Refinery. Prior to starting his own consulting business in May 2000, Butler's career involved more than 20 years with Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO).

    "I have been part of turning around a failing business, improving an already successful business, developing additional profit lines, and acquiring and divesting business segments," Butler says. "Hopefully this varied level of experience will be valuable to both the Bellingham Angel Group and early-stage companies."

    Forward focus
    Angel investing is a proven economic tool. Communities with strong angel networks such as Wenatchee, Port Angeles and Seattle are able to foster the development of entrepreneurial ventures and new startup companies.

    "I have three kids all nearing adulthood and right now, Bellingham doesn't have a lot of opportunities for them in the job area," Butler says. "I'd like to make that at least a possibility."

    Butler and Bennett say the true power of the Bellingham Angel Group is that angel investing combines self-interest of the investors with their desire to help build a strong economic future for the community.
    "It's all about helping others in the community," Bennett says.

    MacCormack agrees that although angels are seeking a high return on their investment in what is a high risk/high return environment, the group's motives can also be philanthropically based. "Angels tend to be retired or semi-retired businessmen who want to somehow stay involved in their community, necessarily have an ‘affection' for entrepreneurs and want to ‘give back' something to the community from which they have gained so much," MacCormack says.

    Like other angel investors, Butler will count himself successful with at least one angel investment per year. Although he says the group is looking for companies that have the potential to yield a high return, the ultimate goal is to strengthen the cities of Northwest Washington. "A city doesn't lose its soul when it grows," Butler says. "It will almost certainly lose that soul if it is not renewed with the energy of new ideas, new people and new opportunities for all of us."

    Bennett agrees that as the base of economics, fiscal growth is integral to the state's success. "A community, like a country, relies on monies coming from outside itself for continued growth, jobs and prosperity," Bennett says. "Any community needs companies which develop and build products and services to exchange for such monies."

    In regard to additional jobs, the group has forecasted potentially major economic impacts in Washington state communities, Bennett says. "For example, at Mitel, we started with a group of about 15 in 1976 and by 1983 we had over 5,000 employees," Bennett says. "At PMC-Sierra we started with 29 in 1992, and today there are over 600 employees in the same local area."

    To those in Washington who disapprove of creating additional jobs and fear overcrowding, Bennett says change is inevitable, but proactively initiating positive growth is optional and feasible through the Bellingham Angel Group. "From my viewpoint, as long as there is space like Whatcom County available, it will continue to fill, either with good, enterprising people who are helpful to one another, or others not so helpful," Bennett says. "A community–like everything else–either grows or it decays. There is just no staying even. That is the law of the universe."

    The touch of these angels may not be a typical one, but Northwest Washington is sure to feel the investment in angelic ideas, including those proposed so far that promise breakthroughs in medicine, reduce energy consumption or solve environmental problems. "Maybe one of the companies we help start up right here in Bellingham will make ours and our children's lives better," Butler says.

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    This article first appeared in the July 2006 issue of Northwest Business Monthly magazine. The article has been reprinted, with permission, in this issue of the WTC News.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Bellingham Angel Group

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Angel Network

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  • Atomic Layer Deposition for Processing at the Nanoscale

    By Chris Hodson, Oxford Instruments and Dr. Erwin Kessels, Eindhoven University of Technology

    Within the current trends of downscaling in the semiconductor industry and the boost in nanoscience and nanotechnology, Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) is a good method of choice for depositing high quality films with ultimate growth control and with excellent step coverage on very demanding high-aspect ratio features. The virtue of this approach is that deposition is controlled at the atomic level by self-limiting surface reactions by alternate exposure of the substrate surface to different gas-phase precursors. This set of reactions form one ALD-cycle resulting basically in one (sub) monolayer of film growth per cycle, repeated until the desired film thickness is reached.

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    Unlike Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), the deposition rate is not proportional to the flux on the surface. Therefore the same amount of material is deposited everywhere even in high aspect ratio structures when there is sufficient flux, providing excellent uniformity and conformality on large substrates. Relatively low substrate temperatures are used in the process (typically 200-400 °C, but even down to 25 °C with plasma ALD), and ALD can readily produce multilayer structures.

    A plasma-based ALD approach yields several benefits in addition to the earlier mentioned benefits of the ALD process itself:

    -improved material properties including higher film density, lower impurity levels, and better control of film composition and microstructure

    -deposition at reduced temperatures

    -increased choice of precursors and materials, including even high quality single metals that are difficult to obtain by “thermal” ALD

    -good control of film stoichiometry by tailoring the plasma step as well as the possibility to introduce dopants

    Oxford Instruments’ new FlexAL™ ALD tool, developed in consultation with leading figures in the field, can uniquely deposit by both plasma and thermal chemistries, enabling the widest choice of materials possible, and has been designed for solid, liquid and gas precursors, and with several of these connected at once, enabling nanolaminates. Its load-locked wafer entry offers important benefits for safety, throughput, and low background contamination levels. FlexAL delivers excellent uniformity on 8 inch wafers, but can equally process smaller wafers and pieces.

    The benefits of plasma ALD are illustrated by examples of processes already demonstrated on the FlexAL tool. Al2O3 is a common material deposited by ALD with applications including passivation of OLEDS, hard mechanical wear coatings of MEMS structures and use as a medium-k dielectric. Plasma ALD enables deposition down to room temperature, particularly important for deposition onto temperature sensitive organics, plastics and photoresist.

    TiN is a conductive metallic nitride used both as a diffusion barrier to copper and as a general metal electrode. Using plasma ALD with N2/H2 plasma, varying the N2:H2 ratio allows control of the film stoichiometry. The role of the hydrogen is in removal of the chlorine impurities in the film as HCl; increasing the plasma exposure time allows for a more complete reaction to reduce the chlorine impurity content and decreasing resistivity.

    Sponsored Article

    FlexAL™ - New flexibility and capability in atomic layer deposition.
    Atomic layer deposition (ALD) enables the creation of precisely controlled ultra-thin film – nanometer and sub-nanometer – materials, with conformal coating into high aspect ratio structures. Oxford Instruments’ new FlexAL™ systems offer a unique new range of flexibility and capability in the engineering of nanoscale structures and devices, by offering both plasma and thermal ALD processes. For more information, call us toll-free at 1-800-447-4717 or visit www.oxford-instruments.com.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • Visit Oxford Instruments

    Related WTC links:

  • Visit the WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • Mike Hjelmstad promoted to lab manager

    Mike Hjelmstad has been promoted to the role of Manager of WTC's Microfabrication Laboratory. He will replace Eric Miller who served as manager of the research facility from 2004 to 2006.

    Mr. Hjelmstad joined WTC in 2004 as a Research Engineer and was responsible for both contract processing and support for users in photolithography and plasma etching.

    Prior to joining WTC, Hjelmstad was a graduate student at the University of Michigan. He holds both a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan in Materials Science and Engineering.

    "Mike is a real asset to WTC," says Mary Tedd Allen, Director of Research and Program Operations for WTC. "We're confident he will make a great manager and leader for the Microfab Lab team."

    Mike says that he's looking forward to his new role as manager of the laboratory. "I enjoy interacting with our customers, especially showing users the vast capabilities of the facility and how WTC can assist them in their process needs," he says.

    "As lab manager, maintaining high standards of customer service and process innovation will be a core part of my responsibilities. I also intend to ensure this commitment to excellence is recognized not just locally, but nationally."

    Related WTC links:

  • WTC Microfabrication Laboratory

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  • SBIR Breakfast Set for January 25, 2007

    Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards provide opportunities for early and growth-stage companies to get the funding and support they need to commercialize technologies and create innovative products and solutions for everything from health care to homeland security, energy efficiency to environmental safety.

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    SBIR program solicitations are issued by eleven Federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, National Institutes of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation. Funding ranges from $100,000 to $1 million depending on the phase of the award.

    Winning one of these competitive grants can be a vital catalyst to a company’s growth. Knowing how to effectively navigate the federal grant system, including how to prepare a compelling proposal, finding the right “fit” for your technology, and knowing what it means to partner with the government, are critical steps in the SBIR process.

    The SBIR Breakfast Series is one way WTC is helping Washington be better prepared to compete and win these awards. Each breakfast event hones in on a timely topic or tip that Washington companies can add to their arsenal of information when going after these awards.

    Specific topic and speakers for the January 25 breakfast will be announced in the near future, so keep watching WTC’s Events Page for updates.

    Admission to the breakfast seminar is $35 and includes breakfast and all course materials.

    SBIR Breakfast

    Thursday, January 25
    7 a.m. to 9 a.m.

    7 - 7:30 a.m.
    Registration

    7:30 - 9 a.m.
    Breakfast & Program

    University of Washington Club
    UW Campus, Seattle

    Related WTC links:

  • Learn more about WTC's SBIR program

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  • Access IQ: Advances in Intrumentation Topic of Dec. 7, 2006 Seminar

    WTC's December AccessIQ workshop will focus on sophisticated micro and nano-scale process instrumentation that can provide competitive advantage across all industries and applications.

    Keynote speaker for the event is Norman Salmon, President of Hummingbird Scientific, a Lacey, Washington company that specializes in engineering support equipment for TEMs, SEMs, and FIBs.

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    Hummingbird Scientific is also a recent winner of a WTC Research & Technology Development grant with the University of Washington's Electrical Engineering Department to develop new heating elements for TEM experimentation combining the ability to withstand ultra-high temperatures and a design conducive to cost-effective maintenance.

    In addition, Hummingbird will be announcing the launch of a new international micro-machining facility to be housed in the Puget Sound area.

    Following Mr. Salmon’s presentation, WTC Lab engineers highlight the capabilities of three new pieces of equiment recently installed in the Fluke Hall facility:

    -NanoInk NSCRIPTOR™ DPN® Dip-Pen Nanolithography system This tool was purchased as part of a DARPA-funded research grant to study nanolithography and potential to scale-up to industry standards. The Nscriptor is an atomic force microscope (AFM) capable of depositing inks with line widths as small as 90nm.

    -Carbon Nanotube Reactor for precision deposition on substrates - This tool was jointly developed with a company which moved to Washington from 3,000 miles away specifically to collaborate with WTC on this project. It uses a forming gas bubbled through ethanol which reacts with catalysts on the wafer to grow carbon nanotubes. Further work will focus on creating oriented nanotubes.

    -EVG 620 Bonder/Aligner - The mask aligner is capable of contact lithography with pattern resolution and layer-to-layer alignment as low as 1µm. The wafer bonder is used with the aligner to provide high accuracy wafer-to-wafer alignment. It is capable of anodic, eutectic, and fusion bonding with glass and silicon wafers.

    AccessIQ Workshop

    'Tool Time': Advances In Instrumentation

    Thursday, Dec. 7, 2006
    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:

  • Hummingbird Scientific is a WTC client

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  • Bookmark this! ChooseWashington.com

    Searching for information about doing business in Washington? Check out the ChooseWashington.com Web site. The site, managed by the Business and Project Development team within the Washington State Department of Community, Trade & Economic Development, is part of CTED's mission to help companies start-up, grow and operate in Washington. True to its compelling tagline, "Innovation is in our Nature," the site offers a wealth of information about Washington's economic landscape including general data, facts about key industries, and links to helpful resources. So, add it to your favorites and pass that URL along to anyone you know who's considering starting up a business in Washington or relocating to the area.

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    2006 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference on TVW

    The 2006 Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference, which ran July 24-26, 2006 in Vancouver, Washington, was well received, with strong attendance and a solid program. The regional event also garnered broad coverage by local media before, during and after the event. Check out select sessions on TVW. The station filmed portions of the conference which are viewable in their archives. Washington Technology Center and ONAMI co-hosted the event.

    Related external links (will open a new window):

  • 2006 MNBC on TVW
  • MNBC official site

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