Texas gains, loses in jockeying for nanotech leadership

from the win-some,-loose-some dept.
According to an article in the Austin Business Journal ("SWT, UT ramp up for nanotech", by Stacey Higginbotham, 22 March 2002), Southwest Texas State University (SWT) and a new partnership among three other Texas universities are seeking millions of dollars in federal and private funding to promote nanotechnology in Texas. According to the article, a partnership between Rice University, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas Dallas called SPRING, or the Strategic Partnership for Nanotechnology, is seeking "tens of millions" in federal and private grants to build or update nanotechnology centers at the three schools, says Paul Barbara, director of UT's Center for Nano and Molecular Sciences and Technology. SWT is seeking $5.5 million to create a research lab and workforce development program for nanotechnology called the Nanotechnology Failure Analysis, Materials, Evaluation and Education Center (NanoFAME).

But as the Austin American-Statesman reports ("MIT steals away prominent UT nanotech scientist", by Cara Anna, 25 March 2002), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has managed to convince prominent nanotech researcher Angela Belcher, a University of Texas professor and a member of UT's new Center for Nano and Molecular Science and Technology, to leave the University of Texas at Austin and join MIT's new NanoMechanical Technology Laboratory as an associate professor in the fall. Additional coverage of this latest nanotech talent raid can be found in an Associated Press article ("Texas nanotech team heading to Northeast", 25 March 2002) that appeared in the Boston Herald.

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