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Posted: April 18, 2008

Martha Cook Piper to lead Canada's National Institute for Nanotechnology

(Nanowerk News) Martha Cook Piper, a national leader in research and post-secondary education, has been named chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT), the institute announced.
Piper, former president of the University of British Columbia and former vice-president (research and external affairs) at the University of Alberta, said she was drawn to the position in part because of the strong collaborative efforts and cutting-edge initiatives that define the institute. NINT is a joint initiative of the National Research Council, the University of Alberta and the Government of Alberta.
“The field of nanotechnology provides a foundational 21st century platform that will create opportunities for us to find the answers to critical questions facing society now and in the future — the solutions to complex problems that affect the world around us in almost every way,” Piper said. “The unique approach taken at NINT — bringing together the best minds, multiple disciplinary outlooks, and innovative partnerships — has created enormous amounts of energy and excitement to advance research and discovery.
“I share that energy and that sense of excitement, and it resonates through NINT and the accomplishments of its researchers, administrators and board members. I am so pleased to be in this leadership role as the institute moves forward.”
Piper succeeded Preston Manning April 1, 2008. Manning served as NINT board chair from the board’s inception in 2005 and played an integral role in improving NINT’s governance process and strengthening relationships among public and private sector stakeholders. He will continue as a board member. The NINT Board of Trustees has the responsibility for establishing the strategic direction for NINT.
“Piper’s extensive knowledge of the international research community and strong leadership and vision are valuable additions to the Board,” said acting board chair Chris Lumb. “She will be a great asset as we chart the long-term strategy for the institute.”
The National Institute for Nanotechnology is multi-disciplinary research institute that aims to develop new technology solutions for the environment, life sciences, energy and information and communication technologies applications. Its unique partnership between the National Research Council of Canada, the University of Alberta and the Government of Alberta enables novel approaches to technology transfer and commercialization. Established in 2001, it has become nationally and internationally recognized for the revolutionary work it conducts at the nano-scale, the level of individual atoms or molecules. Housed in a $52.2-million, 14,000-square-metre facility on the University of Alberta campus, it is world-renowned for its research facilities, which include specialized spaces for laboratories in chemical and biochemical synthesis and analysis of the materials structure at the atomic scale, as well some of Canada’s quietest laboratory space.
Under the direction of Director General Nils Petersen, NINT fosters multi-disciplinary, cross-faculty collaboration from fields as diverse as physics, engineering, chemistry, biology, informatics, pharmacy and medicine. It is considered a critical initiative in Canada’s ability to share in a global nanotechnology market that is projected to be worth $100 billion by the year 2020.
“NINT, with its collaborative structure and unique partnerships — that includes industry, governments and the university — can serve as a model or platform for other similar endeavors,” Piper said. “Even given its great accomplishments, NINT still is a young, promising institute. It has enormous potential to help catapult Alberta and Canada into global prominence in nanotechnology, through work that leads to innovation as it draws together diverse disciplines around common challenges.
“I look forward to being a part of the NINT board of trustees and helping NINT meet its goals.”
Additional information on National Institute for Nanotechnology is available at http://www.nint.nrc.gc.ca
Source: National Institute for Nanotechnology