CNF Support for Commercialization

While the majority of CNF users are academic, we welcome industrial user projects and have a long history of successfully supporting both start ups and established companies in developing nanotechnology products. We have the flexibility to try new materials and processes. Through the CNF user program, small companies can embrace micro- and nanotechnology without huge up front laboratory and equipment costs. These are not sponsored research programs or a membership program. Your people are doing your research/development in our laboratory; costs are just per-hour usage fees for what you use. As detailed below, your intellectual property remains yours. Our laboratory is best suited for research and product development; in some cases we can also support pilot scale production.

Below are some links to information of particular interest to our current and potential industrial users.

Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund/FuzeHub

Fuzehub administers a Manufacturing Innovation Grant program as part of the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund, on behalf of NY State and the national MEP program. The grants are joint awards to a NY University and a small NY based manufacturing partner. In general, the grants support prototype development, proof of concept manufacturing, and transition to manufacturing scale up. In our case, CNF would be the grantee, and the award would be used by the industrial partner for CNF user fees. Awards are limited to $50,000 and 12 month duration. Proposals are accepted and awarded quarterly, and CNF may submit a maximum of one proposal per quarter.

StartUp NY

START-UP NY helps new and expanding businesses through tax-based incentives and innovative academic partnerships.

START-UP NY offers new and expanding businesses the opportunity to operate tax-free for 10 years on or near eligible university or college campuses in New York State. “tax free” includes sales taxes, corporate taxes, as well as employee NY State income taxes on salaries/wages. Partnering with these schools gives businesses direct access to advanced research laboratories, development resources and experts in key industries.

CNF and Cornell University are eligible academic partners for this program.

StartUp NY is a program of the Empire State Development.


  • The McGovern Center, Cornell's Incubator for Life Science Companies, the McGovern Center is designed to develop young Cornell life science companies. The Center is funded by Cornell’s Research Division, the Institute of Biotechnology, and a generous gift from Kevin M. McGovern '70 and his family.
  • The PRAXIS Center for Venture Development is a high tech business incubator located in Duffield Hall, just upstairs from CNF. Praxis helps develop young Cornell engineering, digital and physical sciences companies. by accelerating research/development of its client companies' technology/products, validating its client companies' business plans, and strengthening its client companies' management teams. The Center is funded by Cornell's Research Division with support from the College of Engineering. Admission to the Center is selective. Companies with engineering, digital and physical science technologies are invited to apply

Hand-off to Pilot Production or Manufacturing

For a variety of reasons, CNF is not suitable for manufacturing. Most companies choose to move to alternative settings for pilot production once prototype products have been developed. In some cases, if the technology set is small, companies may choose to set up their own facilities. In some cases, production may be transferred to the pilot facility, while retaining research and development activities within the CNF. Many CNF users have made the transition from research within CNF to production outside of CNF.

CNF and the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS) have partnered to accelerate nanotechnology commercialization. The two partners have completed a tool map that allows small companies to plan the growth of their R&D prototyping activities into commercial foundries by developing their micro/nanofabrication process in a planned way that minimizes technology disruptions.

For further information about commercialization of nanotechnology using CNF, please contact Dr. Lynn Rathbun, 607-254-4872.