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August 23, 2005

Nanosys receives funding from CIA

Nanotechnology developer Nanosys Inc has signed an agreement with In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the US Central Intelligence Agency to utilize Nanosys' thin-film electronics technology to develop specialized antennas for the US Government.

By CBR Staff Writer

Part of the agreement includes development funding for Nanosys, as well as an equity investment in Nanosys by In-Q-Tel. No other details were disclosed, regarding either the amount of funding received, or the nature of the specific application and product targets for the program.

Nanosys said the technology developed will support its ongoing commercial efforts in the area of novel high-performance phased-array antennas in the form of low-cost, thin, and lightweight flexible sheets. Commercial opportunities for the technology include low-profile, electronically steerable RF antennas that can be used as stand-alone units or can be integrated into the outer surface of other objects such as laptop computers or aeroplanes to provide wireless networking and communications capabilities.

It was over a year ago that the Palo Alto, California-based company abandoned plans for a $100m IPO, a listing that at the time was widely seen as a test of investors’ appetite for a stake in the new science of nanotechnology. Nanosys blamed the volatility of public capital markets for pulling the filing. The company is still thought to be loss-making with tiny revenues. However, it is also working with Intel Corp to develop non-volatile memory products for digital cameras, MP3 players, and mobile phones.

Nanosys defines nanotechnology as the ability to control or manipulate materials on the atomic scale to create structures that have novel properties and functions because of their size, shape, or composition. It is targeting the markets of life sciences, solar cells, electronic circuits on flexible film known as flexible electronics, and semiconductor memory devices.

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