The Future of Nanotech

Rice University is hosting the associated nanotechnology congress -- where scientists and engineers are discussing the future of nanotechnology in Houston and Texas.

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Between the Texas Medical Center institutions, Rice University and the University of Houston, this city is considered to be on the cutting edge of nanotechnology. But as the field becomes more competitive, Houston risks losing it's spot in the top ranks. Wade Adams is the director of the Center for Nanoscale Technology at Rice University.

The two-day conference is focused on the newest research melding nanotechnology with medicine, energy and environmental efforts. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison shared the latest on federal funding for Texas research. She says a new collaboration called the Strategic Partnership for Research in Nanotechnology, or SPRING, just received another $15 million for research into lightweight defense materials.

SPRING is based at Rice University and another federally funded endeavor, the Alliance for Nano-health, is based at the University of Houston. Adams says there's a huge amount of research and information generated in this city. However, Houston lost a significant grant from the National Cancer Institute. Rice, in cooperation with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center applied for the bionanotechnology funding and lost out to seven other research institutions.

Adams says the city is poised to be a leader in both nano-science and nano-health disciplines. But local institutions have to work together and work even harder to remain a competitive force in nanotechnology. Laurie Johnson HPR News.

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