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Posted: May 14, 2008
Alberta to spend $30 million on nanotechnology and create 580 undergrad seats over 5 years
(Nanowerk News) The Alberta government announced it will spend $30 million to help more students pursue nanotechnology.
The money is to help create 580 new undergraduate spots at the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary in the emerging study of particles at a sub-micro level.
The University of Alberta will get funding for nanotech programming for its Bachelor of Science in Engineering students. The courses are set to begin this fall. By 2013, this spending will create 380 new student spots at the Edmonton university, Advanced Education Minister Doug Horner told the legislature today.
The campus already houses the federally funded National Institute for Nanotechnology.
University officials have said engineering programs are more popular than ever, partly due to interest in leading-edge streams like nanotech and biomedical engineering. The provincial government has also shown a keenness in what Premier Ed Stelmach fondly calls the "science of small," as it strives to diversify Alberta's economy beyond oil and gas.
The money comes out of a $130-million fund the Stelmach government announced last May to expand Alberta's nanotechnology sector. It also tapped that fund to pledge $15 million over five years in research grants for Alberta nanotech businesses.
Alberta, eager to compete for researchers and sales in a rapidly growing worldwide market for nanotechnologies, boasts about 45 companies with combined annual sales of more than $300 million, the government said.
On May 2, 2007 the Alberta government announced $130 million towards its nanotechnology strategy, of which $30 million was dedicated to build, attract and retain quality talent as described in the document “Alberta Nanotechnology Strategy, Unleashing Alberta’s Potential.”
Developing highly qualified people in nanotechnology is one way Advanced Education and Technology is meeting Premier Stelmach’s mandate to enhance value-added activity, increase innovation, and build a skilled workforce to improve the long-run sustainability of Alberta’s economy.