State, National Leaders to Speak at Nanotechnology New Ventures Event Led by Purdue, Notre Dame


Jeffrey Welser featured speaker at New Ventures on March 25 at Purdue

View the winners of the competition.

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - Two leading nanotechnology industry experts and Indiana's top economic development officer will highlight a daylong focus on entrepreneurship at Purdue University next month, culminating with the inaugural Nanotechnology New Ventures Competition.

Sean Murdock, executive chairman of NanoBusiness Alliance, will deliver the keynote address during the awards reception and dinner beginning at 6 p.m., March 25, in the Venture Café of Discovery Park's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship.

Jeffrey Welser, director of the Semiconductor Research Corp.'s Nanoelectronics Research Initiative, will give a presentation, "Nanoelectronics Challenges for the Next Decade," at 11 a.m. in the Burton D. Morgan Center, Room 121. E. Mitchell Roob Jr., chief executive officer of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, will speak at the noon luncheon in the Venture Café.

Purdue and the University of Notre Dame are teaming up with state officials to offer Indiana's first business plan competition targeting startup ventures and emerging companies in nanotechnology.

Dean Carolyn Woo of the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame and former Purdue Krannert School of Management Dean Richard Cosier, the Avrum and Joyce Gray Director of Purdue's Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship, will provide welcoming and introductory comments.

The Nanotechnology New Ventures Competition is offering $30,000 to the winner and $57,000 in total prizes for novel technologies or services based in nanotechnology. The public is invited to watch the competition presentations, which will run from 1-4 p.m.

"Purdue and Notre Dame are setting the standard for Indiana and the nation in advancing research and creating high-tech jobs in companies that tap into a nanotechnology industry projected to reach $4.4 billion annually by 2014," Cosier said.

"For entrepreneurs working in the field of nanotechnology, the workshop and competition offer a valuable opportunity to further their business plans and seek advice from experts," said Woo, the Martin J. Gillen Dean of Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business. "The event also illustrates business' vital role in the advancement of technology."

Since 2004, Murdock has been a leading voice for this emerging industry at the NanoBusiness Alliance, which shapes policy and works to accelerate commercialization of nanotechnology innovations. Its offices are in Chicago, New York, Connecticut and Washington, D.C.

Murdock also is a founding board member of AtomWorks, an initiative formed to foster nanotechnology in Illinois and throughout the Midwest. He received an MBA and a master's degree in engineering management from Northwestern University. He also holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Notre Dame.

Since mid-2006, Welser has been on assignment from IBM Corp. to direct the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative, which supports university-based research on nanoscale logic devices that are expected within the next decade to replace current complementary metal oxide semiconductor technology for integrated circuits.

Welser received his doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University before joining IBM's Research Division at the T.J. Watson Research Center. He has worked on a variety of novel devices including nanocrystal and quantum-dot memories, vertical-FET DRAM, and Si-based optical detectors, and eventually took over managing the Novel Silicon Device group at Watson.

Roob is a member of Gov. Mitch Daniels' cabinet and leads statewide economic development as Indiana commerce secretary. Before joining the IEDC in 2009, he was secretary of Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration, the health and social services branch of state government.

A native of Northbrook, Ill., Roob is a graduate of DePauw University, and has an MBA from the University of Notre Dame.

Nanotechnology involves making devices on the atomic and molecular level with applications in computer, medical, military and even textile industries. Annual sales of products and services using nanotechnology are estimated to hit $1 trillion worldwide by 2015, and Indiana's political and educational leaders think the state can gain a significant share of that economic growth.

The inaugural Nanotechnology New Ventures Competition features five finalists seeking the $30,000 top prize, $15,000 for second place, $10,000 for third place, and $1,000 each for the fourth- and fifth-place finishers. To compete, contestants must be affiliated with the state of Indiana through a public or private university/college, or another state-supported agency/organization.

In addition to providing a showcase for some of Purdue and Notre Dame's most promising research in nanotechnology, the event will highlight interdisciplinary collaboration needed to find the most impactful market applications and build commercialization plans for those technologies.

Joining Purdue and Notre Dame's Mendoza College of Business as competition organizers are the IEDC and the state of Indiana's Midwest Institute of Nanoelectronics Discovery, an initiative known as MIND that was launched in March 2008.

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Writer:  Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133,                 

Sources:  Richard Cosier, 765-494-4366, and Carolyn Woo, 574-631-7992,

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