Dept. of Commerce: Governor Doyle Announces $500,000 for Chippewa Valley Technical College to Establish Nanotechnology Incubator

Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608-267-9661

Anne Lupardus, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

EAU CLAIRE – Governor Jim Doyle today announced that the Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) will receive a $500,000 grant from the Department of Commerce to establish a nanotechnology incubator on their Gateway Manufacturing Technology Center in Eau Claire. Nanotechnology is the study and design of systems at the scale of the atom.

“We are working in Wisconsin to foster a business climate that supports entrepreneurs and helps them turn their good ideas into high-tech businesses that create jobs for our citizens,” Governor Doyle said. “Through this project, we are creating an environment where the nanotechnology industry can grow, expand, and reach its full potential.”

CVTC, UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout have formed a partnership to grow, retain, attract and develop new technologies. In January 2005, CVTC began offering the first-year Nanoscience degree, one of only two in the United States. CVTC has proposed implementing a multidisciplinary NanoScience Innovation program and laboratory called NanoRite. NanoRite will help develop new industries and applications while providing trained workers in the emerging field of nanoscience technology.

“We appreciate Governor Doyle’s investment in the people of the Chippewa Valley,” said CVTC President Bill Ihlenfeldt. “This commitment recognizes the assets we have here: our educational institutions, our advanced manufacturing base, and our ability to partner to get the job done.”

The project includes of construction of a 40,000-square-foot NanoRite incubator at CVTC’s existing Gateway Manufacturing and Technology Center in Eau Claire. In addition to the incubator, NanoRite will house laboratories, classrooms, offices, and a reception area. It will also include a microfabrication laboratory that will be added to re-train existing machine tool workers for the medical device industry. Construction is expected to begin in fall of 2006. CVTC will use the Department of Commerce funds toward construction costs. Total capital investment will be $5.5 million.