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ONAMI (Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute)
University of Oregon
[t] +1 541 346 2060
ONAMI is focused on research and commercialisation of nanoscience and microtechnologies to foster the creation of new products, companies and jobs in the Pacific Northwest. It unites the University of Oregon (Eugene), Oregon State University (Corvallis), and Portland State University with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, Wash.), the state of Oregon and private industry.

ONAMI is eager to partner with high technology industry, national laboratories, and other leading academic and government research centres.

The Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute is Oregon's first "Signature Research Center" for the purpose of growing research and commercialisation to accelerate innovation-based economic development in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. It is also an unprecedented and powerful collaboration involving Oregon's three public research universities - Oregon State University, Portland State University, University of Oregon; the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, WA); the state of Oregon; selected researchers from the Oregon Graduate Institute and the Oregon Health and Sciences University; and the world-leading "Silicon Forest" high technology industry cluster of Oregon and southwest Washington.

It is no exaggeration to say that Oregon's "Silicon Forest" leads the world in industrial "small tech" Research and Development. The world's leading nanoelectronics facility is in Hillsboro (Intel), the world's leading MEMS/microfluidics facility is in Corvallis (Hewlett-Packard), and one of the most closely watched developments in nanoelectronics is taking place in Gresham (LSI Logic/Nantero). In addition, Oregon/SW Washington is home to the world leader in tools for nanotechnology (FEI Company, Hillsboro), the world leader in laser processing of materials for electronics (Electro Scientific Industries, Portland), the leader in compound semiconductor ICs (Triquint Semiconductor, Hillsboro), the leader in oscilloscopes and other RF instruments (Tektronix, Beaverton), the world leaders in inkjet printing (Hewlett-Packard in Corvallis and Vancouver, Xerox in Wilsonville), leading semiconductor value chain companies (Maxim, Lattice, IDT, Microchip, Hynix, Mentor Graphics, Synopsis, Applied Materials, Novellus, Credence, Siltronic, SEH America), and the leading cluster of technology companies in the rapidly growing electronic display and digital TV market (Pixelworks, In Focus Systems, Planar Systems, Hewlett-Packard, Clarity Visual Systems). Oregon is where the advanced R&D and manufacturing is really being done, and therefore it is the ideal location for collaboration between high tech industry and research institutions.

The genesis of ONAMI began in 2000 with collaborations between the Center for Microtechnology-Based Energy, Chemical and Biological Systems at Oregon State University and the Materials Science Institute and Center for Advanced Materials Characterization at the University of Oregon. The partnership expanded in 2003 with an initiative at Portland State University's Center for Emerging Technologies. The 2003 Oregon State Legislature established ONAMI with a $21M for investment -, of which $20M is for capital construction. The Governor's Recommended Budget for the 2005 biennium includes $7M in operating funds for ONAMI, following a very successful startup.

Many collaborative projects and proposals among the three campuses are now in progress. In 2002, OSU and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory announced the formation of a joint Microproducts Breakthrough Institute to conduct applied research and transfer technology to both small and large businesses. In 2003, PNNL and UO initiated a very successful graduate student internship and exchange program, building on UO's novel and highly successful MS and PhD Materials Science internships for industry. In 2004 the U.S. Congress appropriated funds for two projects involving participation by all four partners: Miniature Tactical Energy Systems (U.S. Army; Dr. Kevin Drost, program manager) and Inherently Safer Nanomaterials and Nanomanufacturing (U.S. Air Force; Dr. James Hutchison, program manager). Also in 2004, ONAMI established a new initiative in Nanoscale Metrology for Nanoelectronics (Dr. John Carruthers, program manager) taking advantage of a downtown Portland location for the region's most advanced Transmission Electron Microscope and associated nanotube/nanowire fabrication facilities.

Together, the ONAMI partners are performing leadership research in several aspects of nanoscale metrology, transparent and printed electronics, green nanoscience and nanomanufacturing, materials characterization, bulk microfluidics for energy/chemical and medical devices, process intensification and microfabrication; and applying this research to both short- and long-term commercial opportunities ranging from computers to healthcare, and energy systems to environmental remediation. Total competitively funded research over the last 8 years has been approximately $75M, and research awards in the current fiscal year (from 7/1/04) will easily exceed $20M.

We are embarked on over $30M in capital projects, which will include user facilities and startup tenant space for materials characterization, microfabrication, product design, and product testing. Our novel shared facilities model for ONAMI-supported facilities (equal rate access for OUS academic users, competitive outside rates) ensures that equipment is expertly operated and maintained, efficiently used, and allowed to benefit both academic and industrial users. In a state with a high proportion of small and entrepreneurial companies, this "high tech extension" model is critical to economic development.

ONAMI combines Oregon university and PNNL research that leads the nation in:

Microfabricated systems for miniaturization of energy, chemical and biological/biomedical processes
Microreactor production of nanomaterials - high efficiency, high precision, low waste
Select techniques for nanoscale metrology - a critical enabler for future generations of semiconductor electronics
Select nanomaterials (functionalized and precision-spaced Au nanoparticles, bulk superlattices) and "green" synthesis techniques combining higher material yields less harmful reagents
Portable/miniature heating, cooling, and micro-power systems
High-temperature, corrosion resistant microstructures (e.g. to enable localised and on-vehicle production of hydrogen)
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