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Industry Partnerships in Nano/Bio Technology

Inustry Launch Panle
Bringing Technology to Society

On February 23, 2007, a distinguished panel of university and industry leaders assembled at the University of Pennsylvania’s Nano/Bio Interface Center to discuss exciting opportunities and complex challenges around university/industry partnerships.

Links to:

The Convergence of Life Sciences and Physical Sciences at the Nano Scale

The University of Pennsylvania currently ranks as one of the premier research universities in the nation with more than $700 million in annual R&D expenditures. The broad-based approach is multidisciplinary, with collaborations taking place between faculty and students from across Penn's 12 schools.  Penn is home to nearly 10,000 undergraduates, and 10,000 graduate students.

The Nano/Bio Interface Center is the institute at the University of Pennsylvania with a research focus is on molecular interactions at the interface of physical and biological systems.  In addition to a broad research portfolio, the NBIC carries out local, national, and international community and outreach activities.

Two programs have been established at Penn to expand relations with industry:  the Nano/Bio Technology Partnership Program and the Nano/Bio Probe Consortium.  In the context of the Nano/Bio Technology Partnership program, the NBIC acts as the face of the broader Penn community and a portal to make connections across campus that are of strategic value to both industry partners and the university.  The Nano/Bio Probe Consortium is specifically related to an internationally recognized research program in the area of single molecule probes.

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The NBIC fosters strategic relationships with corporations who are interested in leveraging the physical and intellectual research infrastructure at the University of Pennsylvania.  As industry moves research closer to market applications, interaction with a vibrant community of university-based leaders in emerging technical areas is a useful complement on innovation pathways.  Nano/Bio Technology Partnerships provide a structure within which to meet the needs of corporations in many technology sectors.  Partnerships are developed around the technical interests and institutional requirements of each partner and can include:

  • Collaboration with leading researchers across the University of Pennsylvania. Connections to leading edge research programs are made through Penn’s Campus Research Assessment Database tools.
  • Workshops focused on strategic scientific and technology directions organized exclusively for member companies to provide summaries of research results, active discussion on industrial applications, and to facilitate strategic thinking on Nano/Bio Technology R&D initiatives.
  • Early access to annual reports, publications, and technical documents.  Umbrella agreements regarding intellectual property can facilitate information exchange between industry and university researchers.
  • The Scientist in Residence Program enables industry researchers to make extended visits to Penn research labs.  Internship programs support students to work in at company facilities for short to mid-term tenures.
  • Priority access to specialized nanoscience facilities is available.

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A research emphasis at NBIC is on developing and using single molecule probes that access a variety of properties.  Recent advances involve molecular motors, synthetic proteins, ribosomes, functionalized surfaces, nanoparticles and nanorods, molecular electronics, carbon nanotubes, and functionalized probes.  Inventions of new probes are made routinely.  The Nano/Bio Probe Consortium has the goal of encouraging regular interaction between faculty, students, and colleagues in industries related to optical and scanning probes.  Industry participants interact with the NBIC and affiliated faculty through the following mechanisms.

  • Corporate presence on the NBIC web site
  • Corporate presence on the International Nano/Bio Probe web site
  • Access to the Nano/Bio Probe Innovation Facility for demonstrations
  • Facilitation in hosting workshops and conferences at Penn
  • Attendance at NBIC industry workshops and public events
  • Submission of Technical Notes
  • SBIR/STTR collaborations
  • Beta test site agreements
  • Early access to probe related publications
  • Early access to probe related intellectual property
  • Exhibit at annual NBIC industry workshops
  • Corporate identification in NBIC promotional materials
If you would like to explore ways that the NBIC Industry Partnership program could benefit your company, please contact Dawn Bonnell at 215-898-6231 or email at bonnell@lrsm.upenn.edu.


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