Overall Track Record and Vision for Research
The University of Pennsylvania stands out as an institution that succeeds at interdisciplinary, transformative research. Penn is recognized internationally not only for its top-ranked medical, business, and communication schools but for preeminent engineering and physical science research. Penn's mission focusing on increasing access, integrating knowledge, and engaging locally and globally is embodied in the Penn Compact, our vision to propel the University from excellence to eminence in our core endeavors of teaching, research, and service.
Penn has an established track record of national impact through funded research and training programs and consistently ranks amongst the top 10 U.S. universities in overall R&D expenditures with a research budget of $814 million in FY2011. Penn holds over 60 extramural grants related to nanotechnology involving nearly $45 million in funding.
Penn's excellence in nanotechnology is demonstrated by many factors, including the presence of two major National Science Foundation (NSF) research centers: the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) housed at the Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM), and the Nano-Bio Interface Center (NBIC), a Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC). Both the NBIC and LRSM provide substantial funding not only to nanotechnology research, but also to nanotechnology instrumentation through direct funding and institutional support to match extramural equipment proposals.
These Centers will therefore help rapidly build up new, cutting-edge instrumentation to be placed in the Center, in addition to the substantial array of existing instrumentation that will be housed there.
There are many universities that perform outstanding nanotechnology research and which possess excellent equipment. Far more rare is the existence of a dedicated effort to connect university research in nanotechnology with industry partners and commercial applications. The Nanotechnology Institute (NTI) addresses this goal and provides a unique, successful bridge between university labs and industry in the Greater Philadelphia region.