Nanotechnology breakthroughs are poised to fuel rapid economic growth in the state of Oregon and beyond, according to speakers at last week's Micro Nano Breakthrough Conference here. "I believe that nanotechnology is the future of Oregon, the future of America and the future of the world economy," said Gov. Ted Kulongoski in his keynote here. Kulongoski said that major advances in nanotechnology are vindicating Oregon's investments, including breakthroughs in "green" manufacturing, nanoscale energy systems, safer nanoscale materials and a local market in test-and-measurement tools for the nanotech industry. To capitalize on growth in nanotechnology markets, Kulongoski is sponsoring a bill that would continue the state's $7 million funding for the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute (Onami), which sponsored the conference. The bill also proposes a two-phase program that would expand funding for startups, allocating $75,000 to seed proof-of-concept projects and up to $200,000 in product-development funding for proof-of-concept projects that are successful enough to be offered a phase-two award.