$3M Grant Establishes Advanced Nanomanufacturing Cluster for Smart Centers and Materials (CSSM)
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative’s Collaborative Research and Development Matching Grant Program awarded a $3 million grant to Northeastern to establish the Advanced Nanomanufacturing Cluster for Smart Sensors and Materials, or CSSM, which comprises research universities and private manufacturing companies.
Advanced Nanomanufacturing has vast potential to advance connected technologies, known as the internet of things, and revolutionize the sensing industry. This includes potential commercial applications such as high- precision miniature wireless sensors used to monitor premature babies in hospital neonatal units, wearable sensors for health and fitness that tracks biomarkers such as glucose, lactate or other biometrics, and sensors that track water quality.
The initiative will leverage Northeastern’s innovative Nanoscale Offset Printing System, or NanoOPS, a manufacturing technology pioneered by the College’s NSF Center for High- Rate Nanomanufacturing (CHN), led by Ahmed Busnaina University Distinguished Professor and the William Lincoln Smith Chair in the College of Engineering. NanoOPS can print nanoscale sensors and devices as small as 20 nanometers—more than 10,000 times thinner than a human hair—on a variety of surfaces, and 100 to 1,000 times faster than current ink jet- based electronic and 3- D printing.
Part of the new funding will be used to establish infrastructure for materials characterization and testing smart sensor prototypes, and to build generation 2 and generation 3 NanoOPS with enhanced capabilities to the institute, including the ability print on any surface. The grant is being matched by nearly $11 million in outside funds through this partnership between academia, industry, and government.
In collaboration wtih:
Chesterton, DIC Corporation, DRAPER, FLEX, GE, MOXTEK, NASA, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Renesas Electronic, Milara, NBMC, Rogers Corporation, Tufts University, University of Massachusetts Boston and U.S. Air Force.
Proposed Cluster Activities
- Design, develop and manufacture product prototypes based on technologies using smart sensors and advanced materials.
- Improve physical infrastructure, including purchase of instruments and equipment for materials characterization and testing of products
- Design and Build 2nd generation NanoOPS that had the ability to print on any substrate.
- Workforce development, such as seminars and workforce training programs to introduce and expose highly educated work force that are currently out of the job market.
- Study advanced materials and product life cycle sustainability to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations.