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Canada's Nanotech SWAT Team Recruits the Country's Small Tech Leaders

Montreal, Quebec, Canada. February 26th, 2003

The Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance and key partners have expanded their effort to build a National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) in Canada. As one of the world's only industrialized countries without an NNI, Canadian industry is increasingly vulnerable to miss out on the vast technological and economic opportunities developing from nanotechnology.

Canada's Nanotech SWAT Team was created last year to prepare a position paper on the need for a Canada NNI by presenting the viewpoints of various stakeholders in Canada. Some of Canada's foremost nanotech business and regional leaders have been added to the SWAT team to gain critical mass and industry representation. The new additions include:

Nanotech / Small Tech Business Leaders

Aviation MEMS: Hany Moustapha, Senior Fellow & Director, Pratt & Whitney Canada
Bandwidth Technology: Brian Moore, Co-founder and CTO, BigBangwidth
Biomaterials: Jeffrey Turner, President, Nexia
Catalysts: Gary Whipp, President, Nanox
Chemicals: Neil Huff, President & CEO, Lightyear Technologies
Genetic Testing: Michel Bergeron, Founder and Board Member, IDI
Hydrogen Energy: Clemens van Zeyl, President & CEO, Hera Hydrogen
IT/ Life Sciences: Sal Causi, Business Development Executive, IBM
Lightweight Materials: Sabin Boily, President, Groupe Minutia
Microfluidics: Chris Lumb, President, Micralyne
Optics: James Wylde, Bookham
Rare Earth Materials: Constantine Karayannopoulos, COO, AMR
Resistant Materials: Gino Palumbo, President, Integran
Space Technologies: Milind Pimprikar, Chairman, CLS3

Regional and Disciplinary Nanotech Leaders

Montreal/Quebec: Robert Sing, Coordinator, NanoQuebec
Toronto/Ontario: Ken Pritzker, U of Toronto Nano Planning Committee
Edmonton/Alberta: David Alton, Director Nanotechnology Planning, U of Alberta
Students: Michael Brougham, Director Student Chapter, Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance

This is in addition to the original team:

Chair: Neil Gordon, Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance
NRC: Dan Wayner, National Institute of Nanotechnology
Canadian Government: Tom Malis, Natural Resources Canada
Academia: Peter Grutter, McGill and NSERC
Industry: Uri Sagman, C Sixty
Venture Capital: Tony Redpath, Primaxis Technology Ventures

Why Does Canada Need an NNI? While Canadian research in nanotechnology and related small technologies is world class on many fronts, and several commercial ventures have been launched, the absence of a focused and nationally coordinated nanotechnology initiative funded by the Canadian Government is increasing the technology gap between Canada and virtually every industrialized country in the world.

We are experiencing situations where minerals mined in Canada are exported to other countries, processed into nanomaterials and small tech devices, and then sold back into Canada. This value-added activity is leaving the country and, in time, will take with it opportunities for fabricators and down-stream production plants that require nanotech expertise.

Nanotechnology know-how is being developed at key emerging hubs in the US and 20 other countries due to coordinated and government financed national nanotechnology initiatives. Some of these hubs have already developed the world's leading nanotech expertise in specific sectors. With a critical mass of infrastructure, scientists, students, and early stage commercial activities, large companies are attracted to these hubs for setting up state-of-the-art research and production facilities, and are overlooking Canada for their investments.

Without an NNI, certain Canadian manufacturing sectors will become less competitive and see an increasing amount of strategic value-added business leave the country and move to centers of nanotechnology expertise. Regretfully, our recent federal budget has not addressed this development.

If you would like to make any comments about the budget's absence of direct funding for nanotechnology research and commercialization, you can contact the office of the Honourable John Manley, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance at

Canada Takes First Step Towards a Nanomedicine Research Strategy

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is leading an effort to create a Nanomedicine strategy for Canada. Rémi Quirion, Scientific Director of the CIHR's Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction hosted Canada's first nanoscience workshop along with partner agencies, the National Research Council Canada (NRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Opening remarks by CIHR president Alan Bernstein set the stage for Nanomedicine research in Canada, which he reiterated from his meeting with the Honourable Anne McLennan, Minister of Health. An RFA for funding proposals is expected to be announced this spring or early summer.

Other excellent speakers gave presentations on leading applications in the convergence of nanoscience and medicine, including: Michael Roukes, California Institute of Technology; Bala Manion, Quantum Dots Corp; Warren Chan, University of Toronto; Kishor Wason, University of British Columbia; Uri Sagman, C Sixty and Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance; Ueli Aebi, University of Basel; John Steeves, International Collaboration on Repair Technologies; and Robert Haddon, University of California at Riverside.

The workshop's organizing committee included Rémi Quirion, CIHR; Dan Wayner, NRC; Peter Grutter, NSERC and McGill University; Uri Sagman, Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance and C Sixty; Neil Gordon, Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance and Sygertech; Eric Marcotte, Galileo Equity Management and McMaster University; and Brin Sharp, Intersol.

Further information on the workshop including:

  • A Nanomedicine Taxonomy [PDF], and
  • A Directory of Nanomedicine Researchers in Canada [PDF]
are found at:

Nanoparticle Drug Delivery Research Group Forms

Dr. Kishor Wasan of the University of British Columbia is assembling a grassroots research team on nanoparticle drug delivery for cancer chemotherapy and/or spinal cord injury. If you are interesting in more information, please contact Kish at

NSERC Seeks Proposals for Nanotech Research

Dr. Peter Grutter, Scientific Director of NSERC's Nano Innovation Platform has announced a new program for funding excellent, high risk, high gain Canadian projects in nanoscience and nanotechnology. The program's aim is to challenge the best nano researchers in Canada to dream, perform fundamental studies, and to broadly develop platform technologies, intellectual property or products. Awards are for a fixed sum of $ 100,000 per year for initially 2 years starting as early as June 2003. For more information, please contact Peter at or

CNBA Announces National Nanotech Student Association

The Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance has established a national nanotech student's association. Spearheaded by Michael Brougham, the student association will help students fulfill educational and career objectives in nanotechnology in Canada. Michael is currently the President of the University of Toronto NanoClub, and is eager to work with colleagues at other universities. You can contact Michael at

CNBA Announces National Nanotech Tools Network

With the intention of maximizing the usage of expensive and scare nanotech infrastructure in Canada, Tom Malis of Natural Resources Canada and the Canadian Nanotech SWAT Team is coordinating a repository of nanotech tools in Canada. The objective is to make it easier for Canadian researchers and industrial partners to find the most appropriate tools, expertise and related infrastructure to optimize their work. Nanotech tool and service providers are encouraged to contact Tom at

Call for Papers - Computational Transport Phenomena in Nanotechnology Conference

Alex Povitsky of Concordia University and CERCA is seeking presenters for the 2003 International Conference on Computational Science and its Applications (ICCSA 2003) which will be held in Montreal, May 18 to 22, 2003. Topics of interest include modeling of large multi-scale problems in nanotechnology, CFD for nanotechnology, molecular dynamics for nanotechnology, multi-resolution analysis, coupled continuum and multi-scale simulations, laser ablation modeling, higher Knudsen number flows and Burnett equations, modeling of polymer mixing with nano-materials, and reduction of kinetic models related to nanotechnology. For more information, see the conference website or contact Alex at:

Nanotechnology and Bioethics

Gregor Wolbring of the University of Calgary and Executive Director of the International Center for Bioethics, Culture and Disability has assembled an interesting website with an impressive list of resources. You can reach Gregor at

Canadian Activities in Nano IT

Shane Schick writes an interesting article in IT Business on nanotech activities related to information technologies in Canada and abroad.

Please Help Us Build Support

For us to be successful in obtaining a Canadian NNI, support must come from business, academia, government, and the financial community. We want to generate the critical mass needed to legitimize this effort. Feel free to forward this message to fellow Canadians in nanotechnology or affiliated with Canadian interests in nanotechnology who believe that a Canadian NNI is crucial for our continued role as a high tech nation.

Forward new names to

For further information, please contact:
Neil Gordon P.Eng, MBA
President Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance
& Partner - Nanotechnology Sygertech
407 St. Laurent Boulevard, Suite 500
Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2Y 2Y5
Tel: (514) 351-7878 ext 299
Cell: (514) 813-7936
Fax: (514) 351-7545

Dr. Uri Sagman MD, FRCPC
Executive Director Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance
& President C Sixty
200 King Street West, Suite 1015, P.O Box 19
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5H 3T4
Tel: 416-351-0208
Cell: 416-436-6640
Fax: 416-351-0410

Reprinted with premission.
Copyright Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance.
Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance

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