Marcus Nanotechnology Building Groundbreaking

Georgia Tech thinks big while thinking small

Georgia Tech broke ground on the new Marcus Nanotechnology Building, which has many people on campus and throughout the state filled with high hopes.

"With this new building, we will have 20,000 square feet of space dedicated to nanotechnology focused on physical science and engineering adjacent to a 10,000-square-foot facility dedicated to biological and biomedical nanotechnology research - this combination doesn't exist anywhere else in the world," said Dr. James Meindl, director of the new Nanotechnology Research Center, which will be housed in the new Marcus Nanotechnology Building.

"The Nanotechnology Building is one of the strategic facilities that will offer opportunities to the University System, as well as the state and nation," said Board of Regents Chancellor Erroll Davis. "Without question, it (the new facility) will help us accomplish our future education, research and economic development missions."

Nanotechnology research will produce materials ten times stronger than steel but much lighter in weight, digital storage units the size of sugar cubes that can hold all the information in the Library of Congress, and tiny medical devices that can detect individual cancer cells and target them with specialized treatment.

The possibilities that nanotechnology has in medical research are what led philanthropist Bernie Marcus, founder and chairman of the Marcus Foundation, to make a $15 million commitment to the building earlier this year.

"It is hard for people to understand what can come out of the nanotechnology world, but we do understand the benefits it can produce for medicine," said Marcus. "The combination of Georgia Tech working with other universities in this state doing nanotechnology research will give us great potential in solving terrible diseases."

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue believes the new building will provide a wealth of research for the state.

"This facility isn't going to be exclusive. It is going to be available to scientists throughout our university system and in the private sector as well," said Perdue. "The role of government is to help facilitate a place where good ideas can come together and generate new ideas. This facility promotes innovating for the sake of a better quality of life for our citizens."

Georgia Tech President Wayne Clough said he believes the new facility will help Tech to attract research funding as well as top-notch faculty and students.

"This is a historic moment for Georgia Tech and a project that will last a lifetime," said Clough.

The naming of the Marcus Nanotechnology Building is pending Board of Regents approval, and the completion date for the new facility is summer 2008.