- Harvard Licenses Nano Patents
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 5, 2007 -- Harvard University's Office of Technology Development (OTD) has licensed more than 50 issued and pending patents of nano- and micro-scale molecular fabrication methods developed by Professor George Whitesides and the Whitesides Laboratory at Harvard to Nano-Terra Inc., a new private company. Nano-Terra focuses on developing and commercializing industrial applications of these technologies with corporate and government partners.
Cambridge-based Nano-Terra is already developing advanced-technology platforms that employ" the design and manipulation of molecular structures for the creation of new properties and functionalities in materials and intends to broaden its technology portfolio," Harvard and Nano-Terra said in a joint statement.
The patents licensed by Harvard to Nano-Terra cover a number of basic technologies for controlling the structure and chemistry of surfaces and interfaces at nano- and micro-scales, and incorporating nano-particles into functional systems and devices. The agreement spans the life of the patents. Harvard will receive royalties from products developed from these licensed technologies and will receive equity in Nano-Terra. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
The intellectual property -- involving molecular self-assembly, rapid prototyping, electrical/optical systems, soft lithography and microfluidics -- has applications in a number of important industries, Nano-Terra said, and the company has already entered into co-development agreements with 3M, Merck KGaA, a major Asian electronics manufacturer and the Department of Defense (DoD). Nano-Terra expects that these agreements will result in products being brought to market -- or into active use -- within the next 18 to 36 months.
Potential applications could include smart materials and surfaces; flexible electronics such as displays and electronic packaging; fuel cells, batteries and solar-powered devices; sensors; industrial products and processes; and a wide variety of consumer goods. The licenses give Nano-Terra exclusive commercialization rights to these technologies in areas outside of the biomedical field such as electronics, aerospace, energy, industrial products, military uses, environmental testing and consumer goods.
Isaac T. Kohlberg, Harvard University's senior associate provost and chief technology development officer, said, "We believe that a well-funded, professionally managed, entrepreneurial company like Nano-Terra is best positioned to bring these pioneering technologies from the Harvard lab to the real world. George Whitesides has successfully commercialized IP developed in his Harvard laboratory for bioscience applications, and we expect he and the Nano-Terra team will fully capitalize on this ground-breaking technology. Their innovative codevelopment model enables them and their partners to more rapidly develop a broad range of industrial applications that will be of great value to society."
Carmichael Roberts, vice chairman and co-founder of Nano-Terra, said, "Nano-Terra's co-development business model will enable the cost-effective integration of breakthrough technologies into mature businesses while building value for both Nano-Terra and its corporate and government partners. Nano- Terra's scientists are using its patents to develop and apply technology to address partners' specific business needs. Through this innovative collaborative business model, Nano-Terra will enable its partners to gain access to the technology and expertise of Nano-Terra's scientists for minimal development costs, and Nano-Terra and its corporate partners will share in the value created by the resultant technology."
For more information, visit: www.nanoterra.com
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