In 2018 NU established Northeastern SMART (https://youtu.be/CDv6RQGCZUA), a university research center that, by fostering partnership between university, industry and government stakeholders, focuses on the discovery, pilot manufacturing and rapid transition of new micro and nano systems technologies that are foundational for emerging paradigms like zero-power sensing, 5G/6G communications, artificial intelligence, quantum information science and nanomedicine. Northeastern SMART relies on an interdisciplinary, collaborative and strongly interactive team consisting of 15 core faculty and over 100 researchers (graduate students and research staff). The center has been funded through over $20M per year in federal and industry funding and it is home to leading national programs supported by DARPA, ARPA-E, DoD, DHS and NSF in RF and mmWave devices and systems, ultra-low power sensors, advanced functional materials, nano photonics and quantum devices and systems, medical devices. Northeastern SMART has access to unique experimental capabilities including a 5,000 sf class 10 and 100 cleanroom and over 5,000 sf of laboratory space with state-of-the-art electrical, mechanical and optical testing capabilities for micro and nano systems and RF, mmWave ant THz devices and systems. Northeastern SMART has also recently deployed the nation’s only 8-inch academic R&D line for piezoelectric micro and nano systems. Furthermore, Northeastern SMART is supported by a vibrant industry consortium with $2M in membership fees to date.
Northeastern SMART Mission:
- Discover cutting edge technologies leveraging the deep scientific knowledge of a top-class interdisciplinary research team with expertise in micro/nano technology, quantum engineering, micro/nano electronics, sensors, machine learning, artificial intelligence, photonics, terahertz and radio frequency systems, computing and biotechnology
- Build new generations of smart devices and systems capable of addressing fundamental technology gaps in several fields including the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, Quantum Engineering, Digital Agriculture, Robotics and Healthcare
- Bridge the Gap by leveraging university-wide innovation ecosystem and offering the complete value chain from basic research and device/system conception to prototype development and pilot manufacturing with the aim of reducing the time for innovation and technology transition to the private sector
Northeastern SMART Activities:
- Groundbreaking innovation in micro/nano systems leveraging the deep scientific knowledge of a top-class interdisciplinary research team.
- Perform Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) that are robust, targeted to specific operational problems and agile enough to rapidly adapt to variations in the technological and security landscapes.
- Address fundamental national needs through the development of an unprecedented platform for RDT&E capable of rapidly transitioning new disruptive micro/nano system technologies from the concept level (TRL 3 or less) to foundry manufacturable revenue-earning products.
- Development of foundry-compatible manufacturing processes using state-of-the-art university micro/nano fabrication facilities.
- Implementation of relevant emulative environments to perform advanced testing and evaluation of technology prototypes (NU secure/classified facility for DoD systems)
- Demonstrate system level prototypes meeting application requirements identified with industrial transition partners.
- Transfer manufacturing process to commercial foundries within 5 years.
- Accelerate deployment and entry to market by leveraging the know-how and the customer network of industrial transition partners.