Governor Beebe's weekly radio address and column: The Emerging Nanotech Industry

Friday, June 6, 2008

Today's economy is changing and evolving at a record pace. The pressure to stay ahead of the curve has never been greater. As Benjamin Wallace-Wells, editor of The Washington Monthly, points out, "If you fell five years behind building car factories in the early twentieth century, you lost some profits; if you fall five years behind on hybrid cars in the twenty-first century, you may have lost an entire industry." To avoid missing out on the riches of emerging industries, our workers and businesses have to relentlessly push the envelope of research and innovation. When people look to Arkansas, they should see the Nano-Technology Center in Fayetteville; the Bio-Sciences Center at ASU, UAMS, and the U of A; the Cancer Research Center at UAMS; the Cyber College at UALR; the Forestry Program at UAM; and the Aquaculture Center at UAPB.

One of the latest successes to come out of Arkansas institutions is Duralor L.L.C., a producer of innovative, high-performance coatings for cutting tools and machine parts. Duralor's coating technology was licensed through NanoMech, L.L.C., headquartered in Fayetteville at the 37-acre Arkansas Research and Technology Park. Original patented technology, invented by Dr. Ajay Malshe, a University of Arkansas faculty member, was licensed by NanoMech from the U of A at Fayetteville. Dr. Malshe said it was the global community that made Duralor possible, involving interested parties originating from India, China, Canada, and Palestine in concert with Northwest Arkansas natives. The inception last month of Duralor's facility proves, once again, that collaboration between the public and private sectors delivers top-quality jobs and economic expansion for Arkansas.

We celebrate Duralor's decision to invest in Arkansas and build their new facility. I would be remiss if I didn't take the time and thank the city officials, community leaders, investors and organizations that diligently worked to keep Duralor in Springdale.

Duralor is Arkansas-grown, and we fought to keep their talents and skills here. We are vested in promoting 21st-century industry.

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