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For Immediate Release
Contact: Nathen Fox, president, Atomic-Scale Design Incorporated (805) 496-9884

March 5, 2003

Atomic-Scale Design, Inc. Wins Grand Prize at First International Nanotechnology Business Plan Contest

Makuhari, Japan -- Atomic-Scale Design Incorporated, an advanced materials company focusing on nanocomposites for the electronics and aerospace industries, won the grand prize at the First International Nanotechnology Business Plan Contest, sponsored by NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization of the Japanese Government) and Mitsubishi Research Institute.

The Grand Prize was 1 million yen (about US $8,500).

"The objective of the contest was to establish a business model for nanotechnology ventures and improve the business sense of young researchers by holding a competition for scenarios for the industrialization of nanotechnology research achievements,” said contest organizer Dr. Katsuya Honda of Mitsubishi Research Institute.

The companies were judged based on the novelty of the basic idea, the business model, the technology, feasibility, and general impressions.

The prize was awarded for Atomic-Scale Design's business model and strategy, showing a combination of research and development in pilot-scale production, along with a strategy to partner with larger, well-established companies to establish the company's nano-structured low-k material in the market. In addition, the company described how a licensing strategy for many nanotechnology companies, including ASD, makes sense and can provide the highest return to shareholders.

The contest took place during the Nano Tech 2003 + Future Conference in Makuhari, Japan. Twenty thousand people attended the three-day conference, which included over 100 exhibitors from industry, academia, and government labs. Speakers at the events were luminaries in the nanotechnology field from around the world.

The ten finalists in the business plan contest came from Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, India, United Kingdom, and the United States. The plans ranged from recent developments in the lab to one company that had 36 employees and significant revenues last year. The contest consisted of three parts: the submission of a written business plan a few weeks prior to the event, a ten-minute presentation in the morning, and a poster presentation on the exhibition floor.

According to one of the ten judges, Dr. Miwako Waga, Managing Director of the Global Emerging Technology Institute, “The companies who received top awards were companies that were well-balanced in terms of financial planning, management team, technological merit, and skills of presentation.”

"The industry needs more of these types of events to keep the spark of innovation alive during a time when funding for new ventures is at a 20-year low,” said Nathen Fox, President and CEO of Atomic-Scale Design Incorporated. “We put a lot of effort into preparing for the contest, but it is all useful towards polishing our message to prospective investors and customers.”

About Atomic-Scale Design Incorporated (ASD)

ASD focuses on advanced materials development and commercialization in the area of nano-composites and atomic-scale composites. ASD was founded by Dr. Benjamin Dorfman as an independent research laboratory world-recognized for its developments and discoveries exhibiting the utmost physical limits of nano-structured materials and has recently made the shift to commercializing its developments. Nathen Fox joined the company nine months ago to head up this transition and grow the company.

There are many applications of ASD's nanomaterials in electronics, aerospace, and energy, but the company’s primary focus is nano-structured low-k (low capacitance) dielectrics. Low-k dielectric materials are one of the key enablers to continue Moore's Law. These materials are needed for the interlayer dielectrics (insulators) required in future computer chips that can satisfy the ITRS roadmap ( for the next ten years and will help insure the continued performance increases demanded in the logic-chip industry.

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