Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

June 20, 2014 14:51 ET

Alberta's Nanotechnology Sector Benefits from Harper Government Investment

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - June 20, 2014) - Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced $1.1 million to help advance leading-edge atomic computing technologies.

Federal funds will support the University of Alberta with the purchase of an ultra-high resolution scanning tunneling microscope, which will enable researchers and scientists in western Canada and abroad to analyze electron dynamics and nanostructures at an atomic level. The first of its kind in North America, the microscope has the potential to significantly transform the semiconductor industry, as research findings aid in the prototype development and technology commercialization of new ultra low-power and low-temperature computing devices and industrial applications.

This initiative is expected to further strengthen Canada's competitive position throughout the electronics value chain, such as microelectronics, information and communications technology, and the aerospace and defence sectors. The project will also equip graduate students with a solid foundation of knowledge and hands-on experience to become highly qualified, skilled individuals in today's workforce.

Quick Facts

  • The manufacturing and sale of microprocessors is a multi-billion dollar global industry that is reaching the limits of what is required to meet the market's expectations for continued improvement in computing power.
  • If nanocircuitry technologies can be successfully commercialized using knowledge created at the University of Alberta, a new industry could be developed with Alberta resources.


"Our Government understands the importance of transforming academic nanotechnology research into industrial applications that benefit western Canadian businesses. Our investment, along with funding support from the National Research Council, will leverage investments and help promote innovative products, and create new jobs and economic opportunities."

  • Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

"We are very proud of the excellent work of Dr. Robert Wolkow and his team, in applying a broad range of scientific advances to develop unprecedented low-power consuming electronics. The highly sophisticated microscope purchased with the federal funding announced today will not only enhance this work, but also help solidify Alberta as one of the top nanoscience research hubs in the world. The work of Dr. Wolkow and his team illustrates how basic research and discovery can lead to innovations that benefit society. Strong partnerships, like the one being celebrated today, help make this possible."

  • Dr. Lorne Babiuk, Vice-President of Research, University of Alberta

"In today's business environment every company, small or large, has to plan to be the best in the world. You have no choice. At QSi we do that by adding commercial value to research that is the best in the world. Instruments like this keep Alberta's researchers at the forefront and make it possible for us to compete internationally."

  • Ken Gordon, President & CEO, Quantum Silicon Inc.

Additional Links

Alberta gains new research and product development centre for nanotechnology

NINT researchers create single atom quantum dots

National Research Council National Institute of Nanotechnology

National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program

Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education

Quantum Silicon Inc.

University of Alberta, Faculty of Science

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Contact Information

  • Emily Goucher
    Office of the Minister
    Western Economic Diversification

    Paul Oss
    Public Affairs Officer
    Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education

    Ken Gordon
    Chief Executive Officer
    Quantum Silicon Inc.

    Sandra Robertson
    Communications Manager
    Faculty of Science, University of Alberta

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