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by Abraham Aboraya
Orlando Business Journal

The University of Central Florida today approved a new master’s degree that may provide an economic boost to the region’s high-tech industry.

The educational programs committee for the UCF board of trustees signed off on a new master’s in nanoscience technology. The degree will help students and potential entrepreneurs get into a $1.2 trillion nanoscience market by 2020.

Board member Robert Garvy said he was surprised at the growth rate in the nanoscience industry: from a $250 billion industry five years ago to a $1.2 trillion industry five years from now. “It’s astounding. And no other university in Florida is offering a master’s degree” in that field.

So what exactly are the applications of nanoscience? Nanotechnology is used in the chips in smartphones, solar panels, drugs for cancer therapy and creating new building materials from theash byproducts of mining.

And for a more concrete example, look at Garmor Inc. The Orlando-based manufacturer is creating graphene, a wonder material that’s one atom thick. That company, which has 10 workers, expects to reach 80-100 employees in the next five years.

Ross Hinkle, vice provost and dean of administration for UCF’s College of Graduate Studies, said the entrepreneurship component is important, as well. “Our goal is certainly to be preeminent. You add the entrepreneurship component and the other training, and the students coming out of this will be well-poised.”

Some of the industry partners working with UCF on the program already include: Lockheed Martin, Nemours Children’s Hospital and the Orlando VA Medical Center. The nanoscience center is looking for more industry partners, as well.

Read the original article from Orlando Business Journal.