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Notre Dame Professor Named 2014 Indiana Master of Innovation

Nina Welding • DATE: November 20, 2014

Gary Bernstein, the Frank Freimann Professor of Electrical Engineering and Associate Director of Notre Dame’s Center for Nanoscience and Technology (NDnano), was awarded the inaugural Indiana Master of Innovation Award from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and Forbes, Inc. for his work on the development of Quilt Packaging (QP) technology.

The award ceremony took place as part of the Forbes Reinventing America: The Innovation Summit, held November 13, 2014, in Indianapolis, at which Bernstein was a speaker. Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce, presented the award to Bernstein in front of the invitation-only crowd, which included venture capitalists, a breadth of industry representatives, and many high-profile guests and attendees, such as Indiana Governor Mike Pence and Mr. Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media.

Bernstein, who, along with Jason Kulick, co-founded Indiana Integrated Circuits, LLC to commercialize the QP technology that he invented, said, “I am thrilled to have been named the first Indiana Master of Innovation by the IEDC and Forbes. This recognition is great additional validation of the importance of Quilt Packaging technology in addressing significant advanced semiconductor packaging challenges and the fantastic business opportunity that it represents for Indiana.”

Quilt Packaging technology is an innovative method for connecting “bare” semiconductor chips at their edges to affect miniaturization, reduce power requirements, and provide huge system performance gains, all at reduced costs.

Bernstein, together with Notre Dame’s Patrick Fay, and Wolfgang Porod, invented the QP technology, which includes four patents, in laboratories on the campus of the University of Notre Dame and is optimistic that his innovation award will serve to enhance the visibility and, ultimately, the market application of his technology. “New technology needs visibility and a conference and award dedicated to promoting innovation and new business growth in Indiana is a great way to do this,” Bernstein said. “From our labs on Notre Dame’s campus, to IIC’s office in Innovation Park in South Bend, I look forward to exploring new collaborations with fellow Hoosiers and new business opportunities across a breadth of high tech markets that can benefit immediately from the application of QP technology.”

Through IIC, Santa Barbara Infrared, Inc. and RTI International are already partnering on the development of QP-based solutions. “The impact of this Indiana-based company is already being felt nationally,” Bernstein said, “and I encourage potential partners and customers to reach out to us to explore how IIC can help to improve their semiconductor solutions.” The Forbes Innovation Summit brought together thought-leaders from Indiana-based and international companies, major research institutions, governmental leaders, and the media to explore business development and innovation. Bernstein continued, “This conference reinforced my belief that Indiana is striving in all the right ways to further develop its technology base. From Notre Dame’s Hoosier roots in Northwest Indiana to IIC’s eponymous name, we remain committed to a state that has a strong skill base, outstanding talent, and a desire to grow and expand its R&D and industrial profile.”

NDnano is a world-class, collaborative research center that includes faculty from seven departments across Notre Dame’s colleges of engineering and science. NDnano is focused on developing, characterizing, and applying new nanotechnology-based materials, processes, devices, and solutions that will better society.

The Forbes Reinventing America Summit is now moving into in its second year; a series of Reinventing America summits are planned throughout 2015.

Courtesy of Joanne Fahey, Notre Dame Office of Research