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Army awards up to $50 million to establish Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies

Chair in Process Control, will serve as ICB associate director. The MIT team is headed by Angela Belcher, the John Chipman Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Biological Engineering. At Caltech the effort is led by David Tirrell, the Ross McCollum-William H. Corcoran Professor and chair of the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Division.

To date the industrial partners are Aerospace Corp., Applied Biosystems, Becton-Dickinson, Genencor International, IBM, and SAIC.

Robert Campbell, the ARO program officer for the ICB grant, said, "The inspiration for the ICB comes from the fact that biology uses precise mechanisms to produce exquisitely structured materials, and that coordination of biological function at the molecular, cellular and systems level takes place by remarkably effective communication and information transfer. The promise here is for providing unique enabling technology for more advanced integrated circuits for high-performance sensing, computing and information processing, and actuation than are used in existing manufacturing. This synthesis of high performance materials is accomplished with a precision of nanoscale-architectural control that exceeds the capability of current engineering, particularly in the designing and sculpting of materials in three-dimensions. Likewise, the integration of component function in biological systems is astonishing, so the lessons learned here are sure to have strong impact on engineered information processing systems integration as well.

"The idea is to understand biological mechanisms and to harness them for design and fabrication of new materials, devices and systems performance to equip the Army of the 21st century. But the benefit to the United States is more than military. The for-profit industrial partners have the opportunity and the incentive to translate to the civilian marketplace the fruits of the research findings. A thriving U.S. economy is essential to
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Contact: Jacquelyn Savani
jsavani@engineering.ucsb.edu
805-893-4301
University of California, Santa Barbara - Engineering
27-Aug-2003


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