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Posted: June 21, 2010
Nanotechnology Asset Map connects the dots on Alberta's nano resources
(Nanowerk News) Players in the technology world now have a new gateway available to nanotechnology activities in Alberta.
A new Nanotechnology Asset Map booklet has been released, showcasing resources, facilities, experts and businesses leading the way in Alberta's nanotechnology field. Nano refers to the smallest building blocks of matter, often on a molecular level. As such, nanotechnology is the base of all forms of technologies.
Produced by Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures (AITF) through its nanoAlberta business unit, this newly-released booklet shines the spotlight on more than 90 nano-related researchers, facilities, businesses and programs that exist within Alberta. The booklet will be available on-line at nanoAlberta.ca to ensure anyone interested in this field can readily access or build upon these existing assets.
AITF President and CEO Gary Albach and AITF nanoAlberta Executive Director Dan Djukich released the first Asset Map booklets to about 100 nano-related stakeholders at a recent reception in Edmonton.
"This Nanotechnology Asset Map puts Alberta's nano resources on the map for all to find," says Albach. "This makes it simple for key players, both within Alberta and beyond, to locate and access our myriad of world-class nanotechnology assets and resources. This gets the ball rolling faster for increased collaboration and commercialization in this vital emerging sector of technology."
Built over the past year by nanoAlberta's team, the Nanotechnology Asset Map covers three major Alberta industry sectors of Health, Bio: Agriculture and Forestry, and Energy and the Environment and how nanotechnology contributes to their growth. Connections are drawn from these sectors to a myriad of targeted sub-sector assets, pinpointing specific facilities, businesses, researchers and programs. In this way, it helps people who are looking for nano resources to determine which are best suited for their purposes and how to contact those resources. As well, the map shows how Alberta's resources connect to a growing global nano community.
The Asset Map is the latest addition to AITF's efforts to deliver on the province's Alberta Nanotechnology Strategy, which aims to stimulate $20 billion in new nano-related technology-enabled commerce by 2020. The Province of Alberta launched its nanotechnology strategy in 2007 with $130 million in funding promised over a five-year period. Alberta is already one of the leaders in Canada for nano research, home to such facilities as NINT (National Institute for Nanotechnology), located in Edmonton at University of Alberta, and ACAMP (Alberta Centre for Advanced MNT Products), located in the Edmonton Research Park.
During the Edmonton reception, Djukich and his team also unveiled a ball sculpture 2 meters in diameter meant to hang from the rafters at Tech Futures head offices. The so-called "buckyball" is a 3D projection of a hypothetical four dimensional carbon molecule.
The buckyball was specially designed and donated by an American engineer, Paul Hildebrandt, to be massive in scale, built upon the basic carbon molecule format, and yet achieve both complexity and simplicity of design. The sculpture was delivered as 10,800 small coloured sticks and connector balls. Tech Futures staff and children, the Scouts group, and engineer volunteers from NAIT spent over 100 man-hours assembling the sticks and balls into its pattern.
"This buckyball is representative of the connections that exist within Alberta's nano community," Djukich explained at the reception. "In the same way this elaborate buckyball shows an intricate yet organized web of connections, this new Nanotechnology Asset Map helps to connect the dots within our nano community."
Meet Djukich and other members of Alberta's nano community at the Alberta booth in the Canadian pavilion at Nanotech Conference and Expo, held June 21-24, 2010 in Anaheim, California. Learn more about Alberta's nano world at nanoalberta.ca.
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