National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC

December 18, 2007 12:30 ET

The Government of Canada Invests $118 Million in Public-Private S&T Partnerships

Edmonton Nanotechnology Gets $36-Million Lift

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Dec. 18, 2007) - The Government of Canada today reconfirmed its support for R&D-based partnerships between all levels of government, the private sector and university researchers by investing $118 million over three years in six National Research Council (NRC) technology cluster initiatives. As part of this announcement, the NRC National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) will receive $36 million over the next three years.

The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for NRC, and the Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification, made the announcement today at NINT. The Government of Canada's multi-million-dollar investment supports the following priority areas: hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in Vancouver, nanotechnology in Edmonton, plants for health and wellness in Saskatoon, biomedical technologies in Winnipeg, photonics in Ottawa, and aluminium transformation in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region.

Technology clusters are broadly based community partnerships between industry, academia and all levels of government, focused on building a competitive advantage for Canada through research and innovation. These S&T partnerships position communities to attract talent, investment and economic activity.

"As demonstrated in Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage and reiterated in the Speech from the Throne, the Government of Canada is committed to improving Canada's international reputation for research excellence," said Minister Prentice. "The $118-million investment is an example of how we can continue to excel as a nation, create high-quality jobs for Canadians and raise the standard of living in our country."

"The partnership at the core of NINT promotes excellence by directing more resources to priority sectors that further the national interest," said Minister Ambrose. "Today's announcement is good news, and we will continue to share a vision for the future of nanotechnology in Canada."

"Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary effort, drawing from fields such as applied physics, materials science, supramolecular chemistry, life sciences, and even mechanical and electrical engineering," said Dr. Pierre Coulombe, President of NRC. "Canada will only reap the economic, productivity, and health and wellness benefits of this emerging technology by working collaboratively and by approaching partnerships creatively as done here in Edmonton."

About Edmonton's Nanotechnology Cluster

Edmonton is home to Canada's fastest-growing nanotechnology cluster, boasting over 20 commercial organizations with world-renowned expertise in specialized nanoscience-related areas. NRC's bold decision to jointly create a state-of-the-art National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) in cooperation with the University of Alberta and the Government of Alberta has vastly improved Canada's position within the worldwide nanotechnology community. Officially opened in 2006, NINT, Canada's flagship nanotechnology institute, has attracted research talent from all over the world, brought together researchers from both the National Research Council and the University of Alberta, and equipped them with more than $40 million of the latest generation of electron microscopy and other analytical and surface science instrumentation.

Including today's investment, the Government of Canada has invested $96 million in NINT since its establishment in 2001. Highlights from NINT's first five years include the establishment of a world-class research facility, attraction of researchers from more than 30 countries to Edmonton, and significant research breakthroughs in nano-electronics, nano-engineering and material science. Other research areas include proteomics and genetic research, new materials development for energy-related applications, and nano-sensors for environmental and medical applications. Collaborative research projects have been established with industry partners such as Xerox Canada, Hewlett-Packard and Edmonton-based ViRexx.

About Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is the application of science and engineering at the atomic scale. It facilitates the construction of new materials and devices by manipulating individual atoms and molecules, the building blocks of nature. Nanotechnology enables the atom-by-atom design and fabrication of tiny structures that are very small, typically 1-100 nanometres, and that have new properties and powerful applications in medicine and biotechnology, in energy and the environment, and in computing and telecommunications.

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