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Nanotechnology in Canada - Status, Challenges and Time for Action

Montreal, Quebec, Canada. December 5th, 2002

The Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance and key partners have established a Nanotech SWAT Team which will prepare a position paper on the need for a Canadian National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). The Canadian NNI will likely be modeled along the US initiative, which will invest US $710 million in nanotechnology research next year.

The SWAT team represents the viewpoints of various stakeholders and includes:

  • 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

"We expect to have this work carried out by mid-winter and then shared with Canada's nanotech community for consultation and support" said Neil Gordon, President of the Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance and Partner-Nanotechnology at Sygertech (, a Montreal-based management consulting firm.

A second phase would solicit input from key regions and sectors including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) which is preparing a NanoScience Planning Workshop in February 2003 for strategic investment (headed by Rémi Quirion, PhD); and Canada's aerospace community following the greatly successful CANEUS ( micro/nano technology workshop which took place at the Canadian Space Agency in August 2002 and featured participants from 14 countries including 2 Nobel Laureates. CANEUS was headed by Milind Pimprikar, Chairman of CLS3.

Canadian Government Workshop on Nanotechnology

Jack Smith from the NRC's Office of Technology Foresight, on behalf of NRC President Arthur Carty and 12 Canadian Government agencies, had hosted a Nanotechnology Scoping Workshop as part of the Federal Innovation Networks of Excellence (FINE) Technology Foresight Pilot Project. Multi-disciplinary experts participated in the Workshop to produce a vision of what nanotechnology could look like 20 years into the future, as well as identifying the capabilities that will be required to achieve that vision.

As part of the Workshop, the Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance has made a presentation entitled "Nanotechnology in Canada - Status, Challenges and Time for Action". A PDF file is attached for viewing, and can be distributed in order to solicit feedback and ideas for the SWAT Team.

Recent Canadian Nanotech Accomplishments:

* Micralyne is named runner up as Company of the Year, and Chris Lumb is runner up as Business Leader of the Year in Smalltimes Magazine Best of 2002. See Small Times Magazine Company of the Year, and Business Leader of the Year

* Dan Wayner, Acting Director General of the National Research Council's National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT), received "Canada's most prestigious academic accolade" - induction into the Royal Society of Canada as a Fellow. See Nano Institute Leader Named to Royal Society

* The NINT/University of Alberta website is on-line and provides valuable news and information on NINT activities. The site can be found at: University of Alberta Nanotechnology Council

Some recent Canadian nanotech conferences and sessions included:

  • Nanomaterials Crossroads (Montréal)
  • NanoQuébec Workshop (Montréal)
  • CERION Workshop on Advanced Materials for Nano-Science (Montréal)
  • CleanTech Clean Energy (Toronto)
  • BioNorth (Ottawa)

* Special thanks to Alain Rochefort of CERCA for supplying the image in the Canadian NanoBusiness Alliance logo. Some of Alain's outstanding images can be seen at: Nanostructures

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" said Gordon. "We want to have 1,000 e-mail addresses by mid-winter to provide the critical mass needed to legitimize this effort. Feel free to forward this Press Release to fellow Canadians in nanotechnology or to those affiliated with Canadian interests in nanotechnology who believe that a Canadian NNI is crucial for our continued role as a high tech nation.".

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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