by Jon Zemke
Say the words nanotechnology in regards to higher education and most locals will think of Michigan's major research universities, such as the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.
Oakland University is throwing itself into that mix with its new NanoTech Research & Development Institute. The school's administrators, faculty and students are expanding their research efforts in a field dedicated to all things micro.
Nanotechnology, which deals with structures on the atomic level, is a rapidly growing field of research that covers a wide swath of subjects. Advances in it have helped everything from manufacturing to healthcare.
A number of local new economy businesses are collaborating with Oakland University on its new nanotech lab. The likes of Octillion and Nanorex have given $740,000 to the university's nanotech institute. The university hopes to integrate the institute's research with its other schools, such as engineering, computer science and medicine.