Nanotechnology Institute Seeks Applicants for Nanotechnology Applications Fund

The NAF Provides Loans of Up to $50,000 for Small- to Medium-Sized Companies Located in or Willing to Relocate to Any County in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

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| Source: Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 21, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- The Nanotechnology Institute(tm) (NTI) (www.nanotechinstitute.org) is seeking proposals for its Nanotechnology Applications Fund (NAF) that provides loans of up to $50,000 for small- to medium-sized companies located in or willing to relocate to any county in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The due date for submitting proposals to the next NAF funding round is October 6, 2006.

The investment is in the form of a non-interest bearing, unsecured loan with the principal repayable only if the project funded by the loan results in revenue. Companies are required to provide one-to-one financial match in the form of cash or the equivalent in in-kind value. There is an application fee of $500. All proposals should be submitted to:


 The Nanotechnology Institute(tm)
 c/o: Ben Franklin Technology Partners
 of Southeastern Pennsylvania
 1835 Market Street, 11th Flr.
 Philadelphia, PA 19103

Proposals may be found at the NTI Web site, www.nanotechinstitute.org. Subsequent funding rounds will also be listed at this site.

Started in June 2005 by the NTI, the Nanotechnology Applications Fund is designed to stimulate joint research and development among small- to medium-sized Pennsylvania companies and NTI researchers. Last year, the NAF funded two companies: NanoBlox and NanoSelect. The NAF's goal is to stimulate enterprise and university alliances that can accelerate the development and commercialization of products and processes using nanotechnology. In effect, applicant companies must collaborate with one or more of the NTI universities or non-profit research institution partners in Pennsylvania. The NTI-university affiliates are: Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Drexel University, Haverford College, Thomas Jefferson University, Millersville University, University of Pennsylvania, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Temple University, Villanova University, and Widener University.

About the Nanotechnology Institute(tm)

The Nanotechnology Institute(tm) (NTI) was formed in 2000 as a partnership among Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP), Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. It supports regional economic development, connecting university assets in medicine, biotechnology and nanotechnology to the pharma/biotech industrial cluster in the region. Seeded with a technology grant whose cumulative value is $16.3 million from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority (BFTDA), the NTI is administered through the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The NTI acts as the catalyst for enterprise creation: using nanotechnology as an enabler for the development of new products and processes; orchestrating the creation and efficient transfer of intellectual property from the universities into area companies and new businesses; helping to educate and build a skilled technical workforce; and organizing, communicating and marketing the assets of the region with a unified voice.

About Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Since 1982, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (BFTP/SEP) has served as a catalyst for stimulating entrepreneurial potential through the integration of systems designed to accelerate the transition of scientific discovery and technology development to commercialization. Part of a statewide network in Pennsylvania, BFTP/SEP provides entrepreneurs and established businesses the capital, knowledge, and networks they need to compete in the global marketplace. BFTP/SEP has provided more than $130 million to over 1,600 regional enterprises through various funding means. BFTP/SEP is a founding partner of the Nanotechnology Institute(tm) (NTI) and the Mid-Atlantic Nanotechnology Alliance (MANA(r)) and is funded by Pennsylvania's Department of Community and Economic Development. For additional information, visit www.sep.benfranklin.org.

BFTP/SEP
Samuel W. Pressley, Director, Marketing and Communications 
(215) 972-6700, ext. 3085