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Innovation: Creating Change in Hawaii

Nano Valley or Bust!

Nano Valley or Bust!

Designed for rugged North Shore surf, the Nano Board was engineered by Oceanit Laboratories Inc. to be twice as resistant to nicks and dings, and three times more unlikely to fracture than a typical fiber-glass board. Mehrdad N. Ghasemi Nejhad, director of the University of Hawaii’s Nanotechnology Laboratory, says he hopes the Nano Board and other lab projects will help create a “Nano Valley” in Hawaii, similar to California’s Silicon Valley. With that in mind, we decided to size up the nano industry.

Nanotechnology refers to the manipulation of materials and systems at the atomic and molecular level.

• Best described as a platform technology, nanotechnology can be used to build almost anything and nano products have been used to enhance everything from suncreens to space shuttles.

• One nanometer is equal to one-billionth of a meter and is 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. An atom is equal to 0.1 nanometers. A white blood cell is 10,000 nanometers.

• Nanotechnology is projected to be the first trillion dollar industry within 10 to 15 years, and 2 million employees worldwide (1 million in the U.S. alone) will be needed to work with nanotechnology.

• To learn more, check out the Multifunctional Nano-composites International Conference Sept. 20 to 22 at UH Manoa, or visit

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Hawaii Business,September