ARCHIVED - New breeding ground for nanotech innovation

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January 08, 2008— Ottawa, Ontario

The NINT Innovation Centre brings companies into close contact with our nation's top researchers in nanotechnology, providing a unique environment for nano innovation in Canada.

Canadian companies that seek to exploit the potential of nanotechnology have found a new home in Edmonton among Canada's largest group of nano-scale researchers. The NINT Innovation Centre, on the campus of the University of Alberta, officially opened its doors in September. The Centre already boasts six tenants and could house up to 15.

The NINT Innovation Centre rents lab and office space to companies that can benefit from close proximity to the more than 200 researchers and technical staff at the NRC National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) and the University of Alberta. The Centre occupies the fourth floor of the building that houses NINT as well as workers from industry and universities.

The NINT Innovation Centre
The NINT Innovation Centre

Keith Gilchrist, an NRC business development officer, manages the NINT Innovation Centre. "It serves more than just start-ups and SMEs," he says. "It also welcomes small research teams from multinationals and collaborators. By hosting small and large established companies in the same building as NRC and university researchers, we create a unique environment for innovation."

Among the new tenants, IOSIL Energy aims to become a leading producer in the emerging photovoltaic-silicon market by exploiting a lower-cost, granular silicon production technology.

Picomole Instruments is developing ultra-sensitive gas analysis technologies for medical, veterinary, occupational health and safety, and environmental applications.

CBF Systems provides product development services to hardware development companies, including prototype design and production, redesign for commercial requirements and regulatory objectives, interface design, product/system packaging and safety certification.

Acoustic Vision Technologies is developing new ultrasonic transducers and systems for non-destructive testing and will offer companies non-destructive testing advisory services to support technology development.

Emicellex Energy aims to build biorefineries that will maximize the production of ethanol and high-value products from agricultural waste, using a proprietary process.

The largest tenant is a research group formed through collaboration between NINT and Xerox Research Centre Canada. Supported by NRC, the Government of Alberta and Xerox Canada, the research group will focus on R&D for materials-based nanotechnology over the next three years.

The NINT Innovation Centre is funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Government of Alberta and NRC. Besides providing office and lab space, the Centre supports commercialization by linking technology entrepreneurs to services in business planning, financing and strategy.

NINT operates as a partnership between NRC and the University of Alberta.

Enquiries: Media relations
National Research Council of Canada

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