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June 06, 2006— Ottawa, Ontario

Nanotechnology for Canada

June 2006 marks the much anticipated opening of the permanent home of NRC's National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT), a joint initiative of the National Research Council, the Province of Alberta and the University of Alberta. The new facility is being built on the University of Alberta campus. It will be one of the world's most technologically advanced research facilities in the world.

The institute will pursue research and technology development on key nanotechnology platforms and enhance industry engagement both nationally and internationally.

The opening of the NINT building not only marks the successful evolution of a challenging project, but is, in fact, a very visible milestone in strengthening Canada's science and technology infrastructure.

One of the unique assets of the new institute model being used at NINT is, of course, the ongoing collaboration between the partners. Collaborations and partnerships are an important part of the way we do business at NRC. It is how NRC envisions Canada competing effectively in our global knowledge economy.

This emerging field puts a premium on cross disciplinary skills and interactions, teamwork between people from diverse backgrounds. This is certainly one of its attractions. It represents a new way of thinking, requiring a multidisciplinary approach, combining biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, material sciences, mathematics, medicine and physics.

There are pockets of nano research going on in every major university in Canada – just as there are nano research activities in more than half of NRC's institutes. NRC is now in the process of developing a horizontal management program for nanotechnology – where we will look at our efforts in a coordinated manner and arrange our resources toward the common goal that the organization is setting for itself.

It is widely believed that because of the convergence of science, the early decades of the 21st century will see vast improvements in the human abilities, societal outcomes, productivity and our quality of life. In its predisposition for collaboration and convergence, nanotechnology is ahead of the curve.

Its priority for governments, industry and the public can be judged by a number of factors including funding levels, publication rates, policy development, and the sheer number of reports issued. By all accounts, nanotechnology is stacking high throughout the industrialized and developing world.

Dr. Pierre Coulombe, NRC President.
Dr. Pierre Coulombe, NRC President.

Canada takes the potential of nanotechnology very seriously, and recognizes the economic importance of participating in its development. We want to be more than just consumers of the technology; we want to be developers and producers.

NINT is a testament to Canada's recognition of the significance of this emerging field, one that holds tremendous promise, both in terms of scientific discoveries and commercial opportunities. The research programs at NINT are already extending the boundaries of scientific knowledge, fostering improved understanding of complex problems and will ultimately contribute to the quality of life of Canadians. NRC's National Institute for Nanotechnology is Science at Work for Canada.

Enquiries: Media relations
National Research Council of Canada

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