The world's first pilot line for carbon nanotube-based electron-emission lighting devices was announced recently by Applied Nanotech, Inc. in cooperation with Shimane Masuda Electronics Co., Ltd. (Masuda, Japan). Applied Nanotech is a subsidiary of Nano-Proprietary, Inc. (Austin, Texas) and the joint development project aims to build a joint pilot line for the development and production of carbon nanotube electron emission based lighting devices by June 30, 2006. Earlier this year Texas Governor, Rick Perry, made a joint announcement with the Governor of the Shimane Prefecture in Japan, Nobuyoshi Sumita, detailing a deal between the U.S. and Japanese regions to develop a nanoparticle-based aluminum alloy with enhanced thermal conductivity for microelectronics applications. That deal was between Applied Nanotech and the Shimane Masuda Electronics research arm called the Shimane Institute for Industrial Technology. The success of that research effort prompted the manufacturing arm of Shimane, the Shimane Masuda Electronics, to broker the deal with Applied Nanotech. Under the deal, Applied Nanotech will reap a 5 percent royalty from any subsequent sales resulting from products developed on the pilot line. Shimane Masuda Electronics has agreed to provide all the equipment and personnel while Applied Nanotech contributes the technical expertise and access to its patent portfolio. Applied Nanotech and Shimane Masuda Electronics declined to specify exactly what type of nanotube-based lighting devices will be made on the pilot line, however Nano-Proprietary (Applied Nanotech's holding company) has announced in the past that they were developing the technology for carbon nanotube backlighting to replace LCD backlights. At that time, the company claimed its nanotube-based LCD backlights will burn brighter and longer and contain no mercury as do conventional backlights.