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DOE SECRETARY WATKINS ANNOUNCES RECORD PACKAGE OF GOVERNMENT/BUSINESS RESEARCH PROJECTS

 DOE SECRETARY WATKINS ANNOUNCES RECORD PACKAGE
 OF GOVERNMENT/BUSINESS RESEARCH PROJECTS
 SAN FRANCISCO, May 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Secretary of Energy James D. Watkins today announced the largest single package of cooperative research and development agreements (CRADAs) between U.S. businesses and labs of the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Commerce (DOC).
 At a news conference in San Francisco, Watkins presided over the signing of documents that will implement or lead to CRADAs representing more than $62 million in technology development projects. The four agreements are designed to improve the global competiveness of U.S. businesses in high performance computing and communications technologies including data storage and retrieval, and in the production of integrated circuits and electronic components.
 CRADAs are a form of technology commercialization agreement that permits DOE labs to collaborate with private businesses on research that can lead to improvements in commercial technologies while achieving the objective of federal research and development programs.
 The record CRADA package announced today is the largest government-business technology collaboration since the signing of the $260 million U.S. Advanced Battery Consortium (U.S. ABC) last year. The U.S. ABC has as its goal the development of batteries that can make widespread use of electric cars feasible by the year 2000.
 Watkins said of today's agreements: "This is another major milestone in our program to bring the research capabilities of the DOE labs into full support of long-term U.S. economic growth. Our labs helped us win the Cold War by developing the best defense technologies. Now they can help America prevail in global commercial competition by helping U.S. businesses overcome the most difficult technology challenges. Successful technology transfer, and commercialization will lead to the creation of jobs, more environmentally conscious manufacturing technologies and improvement in the quality of life here and abroad."
 With completion of the agreements announced today, DOE laboratories will have entered into more than 130 CRADAs with U.S. businesses and other research organizations compared with only 12 a year ago. The collaborative projects announced today are:
 -- A $34.7 million, five-year project to develop generic printed wiring board technologies for the next generation of electronic components. This agreement teams DOE's Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), and DOC's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with four members of the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS) -- AT&T, Texas Instruments, Digital Equipment Corp., and Hamilton Standard Interconnect. On April 23, DOE established a master agreement with NCMS and its 140 manufacturer members to pursue collaborative research projects. This agreement is expected to result in many more projects between NCMS member companies and DOE laboratories.
 -- A $14.3 million, three-year project teaming SNL's Livermore, Calif., facility with AT&T to develop new lithography patterning technologies in the production of high density integrated circuits with feature sizes below 0.2 microns. This project will pursue projection X-ray lithography using a laser plasma source. DOE labs are collaborating on lithography research in an effort to regain a strong U.S. position in the global production of high performance integrated circuits.
 -- A $7.1 million, three-year project to achieve dramatic reductions in the time and expense required to retrieve massive amounts of data required for high performance computing applications such as global change research, high energy physics and fusion energy research. In this effort, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and six U.S. companies are combining forces to create a National Storage Laboratory. The project has among its goals 60-fold increases in the speed of data retrieval at one-tenth of current costs. The participants expect the Storage Lab to develop products worth $100 million. The corporate partners are IBM Federal Systems Co., Ampex Recording System Corp., the DISCOS Division of General Atomics, Maximum Strategy, Network Systems Corp. and Zitel Corp. Five of the six have corporate or division headquarters in California.
 -- A $6 million collaboration between SNL and SEMATECH to develop technologies and equipment for contamination-free manufacture of integrated circuits. SEMATECH is a consortium of 13 electronics companies and the Department of Defense. Its goal is to strengthen the U.S. semiconductor industry. One of the major goals of the Sandia-SEMATECH collaboration is the creation of a Contamination Free Manufacturing Research Center at Sandia's Albuquerque, N.M., facility. It is expected that the initial nine-month agreement will be extended for several years and reach annual funding levels of $20 million.
 Watkins stressed that DOE's technology commercialization program is producing benefits for a wide range of businesses of every size. The press conference included a demonstration of a blood analysis technology developed by ABAXIS, Inc., a small Mountain View, Calif., company, as the result of a CRADA with DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).
 The ABAXIS blood analyzer will enable doctors to perform 13 in- office blood tests during a patient visit, avoiding the expense and delay of sending blood samples to laboratories for later analysis.
 Watkins is in California for a week-long series of events related to DOE programs in technology transfer and commercialization, math and science education, energy conservation, and community development. On Friday, he and other members of President Bush's Cabinet will participate in the seventh National Technology Initiative (NTI) conference at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.
 -0- 5/27/92
 /CONTACT: Jeff Sherwood, 202-586-5806, or John Bellaurdo, 510-273-6398, both of U.S. Department of Energy/ CO: U.S. Department of Energy ST: California IN: CPR SU: EXE


IH-DC -- DC018 -- 4383 05/27/92 15:56 EDT
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