ARGONNE – Gov. Rod Blagojevich today attended the cornerstone-laying ceremony celebrating the establishment of the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. $36 million in construction costs for this dynamic new facility was provided as part of the Governor’s aggressive strategy to spur scientific and economic growth and create jobs throughout Northeast Illinois. The new facility will create 1,100 construction jobs and 60 permanent jobs at Argonne once operational. U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel L. Bodman and Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, Director of DOE’s Office of Science, as well as other elected officials, also attended the event.
“Nanotechnology is the most significant technological frontier being explored today. Materials and devices at the nanoscale hold vast promise for innovation in virtually every industry and public endeavor, including health, electronics, transportation, the environment and national security. By investing in world-class research projects like this one at Argonne with the Department of Energy, we’re assuming a position of national leadership in this fascinating new science, and, in doing so, helping unleash the enormous economic potential of this state,” Gov. Blagojevich said.
“This nanoscience center will be a national asset that will help define the future of science and technology for all of us,” Secretary Bodman said. “We fully expect the fields of energy, medicine, information technology and homeland security to be touched – if not transformed – by the work that will take place here. That is why we are making such a substantial investment, both in facilities such as this and in nanoscale research in general.”
The Center for Nanoscale Materials is a joint DOE-State of Illinois project to examine the structure and properties of material on a nanoscale. When completed, Illinois will have an unparalleled resource to provide basic nanoscale research that will lead to industrial and commercial applications in medicine, microelectronics, manufacturing, information technology and homeland security.
The 85,000-square foot CNM building will house instruments, laboratories, clean rooms and work space to assist in fabricating and understanding these tiny materials. Each year, the facility will be utilized by visiting scientists and students from Illinois industry and universities, and other national laboratories. The total cost of the CNM project at Argonne is an estimated $72 million.
"Nanotechnology is considered by many to be the next industrial revolution. Gov. Blagojevich understands how vitally important it is to our regional and statewide economy to invest in cutting edge technology that has the capacity to act as an enormous engine of economic growth and job creation. Supporting the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne is the savviest use of state resources," State Senator Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) said.
"The state's investment in the Center for Nanoscale materials is enabling Argonne to leverage more than $250 million in federal funding over the next five years, fostering research and innovation that will have enormous implications on our every day lives. I am thankful to Governor Blagojevich for helping to promote this important project for the State of Illinois," said State Representative Eileen Lyons (R-Western Springs).
The nanoscale refers to a size one-billionth of a meter, or about 70,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair. Materials at that size exhibit entirely different properties from conventional materials. Specifically, temperature, electricity and magnetism are completely different from that of conventional materials, and could form the basis of new technologies.
Argonne is located about 25 miles southwest of Chicago’s Loop, surrounded by DuPage County Forest Preserve land.
"The investment Gov. Blagojevich is making in the Center for Nanoscale Materials is another example of how he has a plan to grow technology and industries of the future. Argonne is one of the nation's premier science labs and one of this region's most dynamic resources. By supporting this project, we're capitalizing on one of our greatest competitive strengths and fueling the growth of the profound scientific discovery taking place here in Illinois," Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Director Jack Lavin said.