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For Release: November 6, 2003

Sallie A. Keith
Media Relations Office

Tiny Technology Yields Big Success for Northeastern Ohio

Since its inception in 1998, the Glennan Microsystems Initiative has been instrumental in catalyzing three new start companies and in creating new jobs in Northeastern Ohio. Technology developed by Glennan has resulted in sensors that can reliably detect fire in an aircraft, inexpensively measure exhaust emissions or diagnose the leading cause of fatal heart attacks.

These accomplishments and others will be highlighted on Friday, November 7 during Glennan's annual program review. NASA's Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, will host the review in its Visitor Center's auditorium. This review will feature perspectives on the impact of the initiative from industry, government and academia. It will also include an industrial partner panel discussion and a technology overview by project leaders.

Glenn, the State of Ohio and Case Western Reserve University launched the Glennan Microsystems Initiative to address the research, development and application needs of NASA and industry in the field of microsystems. A strategic alliance was established with business, government and academia using a Joint Sponsored Research Agreement (JSRA), the first at Glenn.

"The JSRA enabled us to work with industry and universities in a new way to achieve a shared vision and common objectives," stated Glenn Center Director Dr. Julian M. Earls. "Already we have seen many successes that are finding their way into NASA programs and we look forward to additional collaborations."

Through its partners, Glennan advanced the development of state-of-the-art high temperature chemical sensors, pressure sensors and electronics capable of operating at 500º C. Glennan supported the first successful Multi-User Silicon Carbide processing system, which enables surface machined micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) devices to be produced and prototyped in Silicon Carbide. The initiative's technology has also led to uniquely microfabricated biological micro-electro-mechanical systems (BioMEMS) devices for drug delivery and the treatment of heart disease.

"Through teamwork we identify market opportunities, direct technology investments and leverage resources to create pre-competitive technology," explained Glennan's Executive Director Walter Merrill. "We then further develop the technology with proprietary efforts as it becomes more product specific and spin it into viable new start ventures. Plans are underway to launch two new start companies in 2004."

Glennan researchers have created 20 patents and disclosures, 107 papers, and 75 intellectual property products. The initiative has sponsored two International Conferences addressing MEMS' use in a harsh environment and is well known for the bi-monthly Microbreakfast series it hosts. The initiative has been recognized as a leader in Silicon Carbide and harsh environment microsystems. To date Glennan represents over 25 member organizations.

More information about Glennan, its partners and products, can be found at: More information about accessing NASA Glenn's technology for business opportunities can be found at:

Note to Editors/News Directors: Media interested in attending the review or interviewing participants should contact Sallie Keith to be cleared through security at 216-433-5795.

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