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The Nano-Bio Manufacturing Consortium (NBMC)

The NBMC (2013) brings together some of the foremost research teams in academia and industry to focus on ways to exploit the potential of nano-scale control of materials, and particularly biomaterials, through the development new devices and services, with a particular emphasis on health related applications and wearable technologies.  Members include American Semiconductor, Arizona State University, Brewer Science, Cornell University, DuPont, General Electric, i3 Electronics, Johns Hopkins University, Lockheed Martin, MC10, Northeastern University, Solgie, UES, University of Arizona, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, University of Cincinnati, University of Massachusetts, AFRL, Flextech Alliance (see http://www.nbmc.org/).

NBMC Mission Statement:  The mission of NBMC is to bring together leading scientists, engineers, and business development professionals from industry and universities in order to work collaboratively in a consortium, and to mature an integrated suite of nano-bio manufacturing technologies to transition to industrial manufacturing.’

The NBMC goal is to bring existing platforms and knowledge in research teams and centres towards functioning prototypes and productisation, using existing or emerging fabrication approaches that are compatible with scale-up and lowering unit costs, while retaining the unique functionalities that become accessible through control of nano/micro structure.  For example, initial projects leveraged earlier work in the basic science of bio-marker detection and microfluidics, and took the next step into development of delivery mechanisms and patch components.  This way, an integrated suite of reconfigurable thin film, mechanically-compliant device concepts are created that take into account fabrication methods that are compatible with biological and nano-particle materials.

Future projects will pull other partners with other strengths into the process and transition the prototype creation into a foundry-like manufacturing flow.

Members can apply for project funding through NBMC solicitations/calls under particular topic headings.  Typically, several consortium members (industry and Academic) come together to draft a proposal, which is then submitted for consideration.  Proposals are reviewed and, if successful, the NBMC provides 50% of the total project cost.  Matching contributions are required from the applicants for the full project costs.  The 2014 solicitation is under the theme ‘Human Performance Monitoring & Sensor Systems’.

While the initial engagement with NBMC is through the National Centre for Sensor Research, it is planned to broaden the points of contact to DCU PIs researching in areas relevant to the NBMC.  This is a great opportunity for DCU researchers to directly access US research funding.  DCU is currently the only non-USA partner in the consortium.

Dermot Diamond

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