The Center was founded in 2006 under the auspices of the Pittsburgh Technology Council by a consortium of four western Pennsylvania companies; Alcoa Technology, Bayer MaterialScience, PPG Industries and US Steel. Today, the Center enjoys partnerships with Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University, Lehigh University, the Department of Community and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Air Force Research Labs and over 400 companies, organizations and individuals involved in nanotechnology.

The Center plays a critical role in accelerating the commercialization of nanomaterials research for new and enhanced products critical for U.S. commercial and defense needs. The Center's commercialization grants are typically used to bridge the "Valley of Death" phase of development, between the technology proof-of-concept stage and the production of a customer-relevant prototype product.

The first diagram below shows the "Valley of Death" stage.

Valley of Death

The second diagram below illustrates how the Center's unique commercialization model minimizes risk for early stage companies.

Commercialization Model

The Technology Roadmap is a compilation of feedback from our commercial and defense-sector parnters which identifies advanced materials and nanotechnology focus areas and their applications for promising comercialization. The Roadmap serves as a guideline for those proposing to the Center for evaluation. All potential proposers to the Center should review the Technology Roadmap to ascertain whether their suggested projects meet one of the technology areas of interest to the Center.

Technology Roadmap

Nano Center Impact