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Home > Press > Everything you wanted to na-know but were afraid to ask

Stain-resistant fabrics, self-cleaning windows, and scratch-resistant surfaces. What will they think of next? Nanotechnology makes all of this possible and so much more! See how microscopic advances result in big-time benefits such as novel drug delivery systems, smaller and faster computers, and powerful imaging tools in our NANOTECHNOLOGY issue of

Everything you wanted to na-know but were afraid to ask

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | Posted on December 7th, 2006

By Dr. Eliot Phillipson, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation

It has been said that research—the discovery of new knowledge—and predicting how it will be applied is like driving in the dark. You can see only as far as the headlights will allow, but if you keep going, you will reach your destination.

This analogy is particularly relevant to truly transformative advances in science. For example, not even Einstein could have anticipated the profound impact that his discoveries in physics would eventually have on our manufacturing, communications, and aerospace industries, to mention but a few. And when the structure of DNA was uncovered some 50 years ago, no one could have predicted how this knowledge would eventually revolutionize the tracking of epidemics, the treatment of disease, the investigation of crime, or the classification of plant and animal species.

Today, we stand on the threshold of yet another transformative era of innovation, based on the science of nanotechnology. As noted in Preston Manning's guest column, nanotechnology likely represents the next major technological revolution—one whose impact we are only beginning to appreciate. As described in the accompanying "success stories" by leading Canadian researchers in the field, the possible uses of nanotechnology are staggering, to say the least— from capturing solar energy, more powerful microscopes, and improved crude oil production, to safer and more effective drug delivery systems. Indeed, the myriad of potential applications of nanotechnology is only beginning to emerge. But if we keep on driving down the nano highway, the full impact of this new technology will surely come clearly into view.

I invite you to begin the journey by reading each of the vignettes in this issue of Your drive will be exciting, and even though the final destination remains unknown, the scenes you encounter along the way will be spectacular!


The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. Part of our many outreach activities includes the production of an online magazine. This free, bi-monthly publication showcases Canadian excellence in research, and highlights the benefits to Canadians.

For more information, please click here

Angus McKinnon
Media Relations
(613) 996-3160

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