Awards and Honors
UCSC team reaches the finals in Nanochallenge
By Tim Stephens
A team of UCSC researchers was among 20 finalists who traveled
to Italy in November to present their ideas to a panel of expert
judges in a nanotechnology business plan competition. The UCSC
team ultimately placed fifth out of 70 entrants in the Nanochallenge
2005 competition, organized by Veneto Nanotech.
David Deamer, professor and chair of biomolecular engineering,
participated in the competition together with graduate student
Roger Chen, who was responsible for the financial aspects of
their business plan. The group also included Holger Schmidt,
assistant professor of electrical engineering, Mark Akeson,
adjunct professor biomolecular engineering, and Aaron Hawkins
of Brigham Young University.
Their project involved the use of nanotechnology in a device
for rapidly identifying single molecular structures. Called
"Aropor," the fluorescence-activated molecular identifier
could be used, for example, to detect virus-infected individuals
passing through airports if a pandemic occurs, Deamer said.
The contest was a valuable opportunity to present nanotechnology
ideas in terms of business proposals and get feedback from potential
investors, Deamer said.
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