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The Ky NanoNET, Kentucky's Parkway System for the 21st Century

Over the last 10 years, the state of Kentucky has made significant infrastructure investments in advanced materials, including micro/nanotechnology, but as highlighted in the 2006 National Research Council (NRC) Report on Materials Facilities, it has failed to provide a formal networking strategy for optimizing these investments (as with most states in general). The NRC National Academies Committee recommends the development of a formal “regional networking” system so that all such localized facilities are easily accessible and fully utilized by the Commonwealth’s entire complement of researchers and educators. In these days of limited funding opportunities, the advisory committee stresses the importance of leveraging infrastructure investments with shared or integrated facilities. It is the goal of the Kentucky NanoNET (KyNN) to help address these issues.

In brief, the KY nanoNET Initiative is a five-year project for the development of an infrastructure network and support system throughout Kentucky for the specific advancement of micro/nanotechnology and the many fields of research/education that utilize this pervasive technology. The goals of the KY nanoNET are


  1. To better coordinate the many existing micro/nano labs and resources scattered throughout the Commonwealth by developing a comprehensive web-based network and portal system (the KY nanoNET), similar to the state of Indiana’s NSF-sponsored national nanoHUB housed at Purdue University and NSF’s national nanotechnology portal (NNIN) located at Cornell University, 
  2. Develop a “portal-based shared software program” (KRUNCH) as a key component of the KY nanoNET that will allow researchers across the state access to a wide variety of expensive TCAD tools for general micro/nano/MEMS research and education, 
  3. Develop a centralized physical “core” facility (KORE) for the generation of custom photomasks to effectively serve the needs of all micro/nano researchers and educators in the Commonwealth, 
  4. Develop an effective educational outreach program to grow the interest in micro/nanotechnology and MST (math/science/technology) in general throughout Jefferson County and the entire state at both the university and K-12 levels, and 
  5. Collaborate with industry and state government to promote micro/nanotechnology through the development of programs that promise to impact Kentucky’s lagging high-tech economy.