- Buyers Guide
I had an interesting visit at the office this week from Matt Apanius, Director of the SMART Commercialization Center for Microsystems on the campus of Lorain County Community College in Ohio (thanks to Joel Goldstein for bringing him by). The facility is a unique multi-user, shared resource facility focused on commercializing sensor products by MEMS. This includes the critical stages of packaging, reliability testing and inspection of Microsystems and sensors which he says is typically an afterthought in bringing new devices/sensors to market so companies can quickly run into trouble at this stage of development. The Center allows companies to rent out time on the equipment in the facility to address packaging, testing and reliability issues related to MEMS device/sensor development to quickly resolve any issues and get into production.
The SMART Center fills a gap in the commercialization process and is complementary to other micro-fabrication facilities at universities across the Midwest. More than 90 percent of the SMART Center lab time will be utilized by industry partners and support the commercialization of new technologies created by Ohio’s robust research universities. The SMART Center builds a bridge between the research and discovery expertise at regional universities and industries and the marketplace.
The SMART Center is scheduled to open in spring of 2013. Until that time, it is open for business in a temporary home on the third floor of the LCCC Entrepreneurship Innovation Center (EIC). It is supporting customer projects in a 1,800 square-foot, class 10,000 clean room, with a complete set of Microsystems packaging, inspection and test equipment along with an adjoining 1,800 square feet of software labs, customer space and administrative space. The new SMART Center will be a three-story, 46,000-square-foot facility that will include class 100, class 1,000 and class 10,000 clean rooms, general lab space and customer incubation areas. It will be connected to LCCC’s Entrepreneurship Innovation Center.
When I visited Hong Kong several months ago, I went to Astri (Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute) which focuses on industry R&D projects to fill the gap between university research and industrial production. I immediately wondered why there were not more places in the US that served industry in the same capacity to fill this gap and launch new companies and products (which creates new jobs). Now I have found one. You can get more information about them at www.smartmicrosystems.com.