From the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) to the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership (AMP), the White House has signaled that investing in nanotechnology innovation is a federal priority.  Since the inception of the NNI over a decade ago, federal nanotechnology R&D funding has grown from $464 million per year to almost $1.8 billion. The number of participating agencies has also grown from six to twenty-five.

The ISTC has taken note, and through the Illinois Nanotechnology Collaborative (INC), has been working to develop tools and resources necessary to make nanotechnology an economic driver in Illinois.  Bringing together universities, national labs and industry, the INC is working to develop a nanotechnology roadmap for Illinois which will be released in the coming months.

Illinois already boasts one of the nation’s largest nanotechnology clusters.  According to the Nano Science and Technology Institute, there are currently 73 businesses in Illinois that self-identify as nanotechnology companies either because of their work on the nanoscale or their use of nano-enabled products.

Though they may not be household names, many of Illinois’ nanotechnology companies have a global reach and impact our lives on a daily basis.  Skokie-based NanoInk’s Dip Pen Nanolithography machines are in laboratories across the world.  Nanophase, headquartered in Romeoville, manufactures a variety of nanoparticles that are included in products as ubiquitous as paint and sunscreen.  Also in Romeoville, Advanced Diamond Technologies turns natural gas into diamonds for a variety of industrial, electronic and medical applications.  Discoveries at the University of Illinois, Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory provided the foundational science for many of the products listed above.

Read on to learn about how nanotechnology and its numerous applications are creating the next generation of innovative products and businesses right here in Illinois.

National Science Foundation FY 2013 Budget Request to Congress: National Nanotechnology Initiative
National Science Foundation FY 2013 Budget Request to Congress: Cyber-Enabled Materials, Manufacturing, and Smart Systems
President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Releases Report on Advanced Manufacturing, President Launches Advanced Manufacturing Partnership
Nine months in trade school. Job guaranteed.
NanoProfessor partners with City Colleges to offer course, internship
Chicago Startups Buzz Referrals, Aurasense get VC funds from state
Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity: Technology in Illinois
Direct observation of how nanoparticles interact with the nucleus of a cancer cell
How one startup’s innovation could make natural-gas vehicles more viable
NIU’s Tao Xu receives CAREER grant worth $400K from National Science Foundation

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