In Canada's first major public-private nanotechnology research partnership, the Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC), the National Research Council Canada (NRC), the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) and the Government of Alberta will provide approximately $4.5 million for research and development of materials-based nanotechnology over the next three years.
The three partners will invest funds, human resources and available infrastructures to create a research program and teams focused on developing commercially successful nanotechnology-based discoveries. Personnel from NINT and XRCC will collaborate on research projects at NINT in Edmonton, Alberta, and at XRCC in Mississauga, Ontario.
"Today's announcement is in keeping with the spirit of the objectives outlined in our recent economic plan, Advantage Canada. It solidifies our commitment to support research excellence," said the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry. "This initiative represents the collaboration and investments of all stakeholders, including Canada's new government. Partnerships are essential, and it is vital that we continue with this approach," he added.
The funds will contribute to the hiring of six to 10 scientists who will investigate materials-based nanotechnologies, including document and display-related technologies. The research program, co-managed by XRCC and NINT, will allow access to Xerox's experience in successfully commercializing technology to facilitate the market application of resulting inventions. "This level of public and private sector partnership helps fuel the type of innovation that will keep Alberta, and Canada as a whole, strong and competitive in an increasingly global, knowledge-based economy," said Doug Horner, Minister for Advanced Education and Technology, Government of Alberta. "Researchers will have the opportunity to take scientific ideas through the full cycle of innovation, from initial concept to commercialization, which will contribute to building a stronger Alberta."
XRCC was established in 1974 to develop the materials used globally by Xerox Corporation, and it began nanotechnology-enabled research efforts several years ago. It has already developed successfully commercial materials, including 'EA Toner', a unique technology for making more cost-effective and environmentally efficient toner for printers. XRCC will now be able to expand its nanotechnology efforts.
"This partnership demonstrates that with the support of government, open innovation with public and private sector research can combine to achieve remarkable mutual accomplishments," said Hadi Mahabadi, Vice-President and Director, Xerox Research Centre of Canada. "The Government of Alberta, Xerox and NINT are leading the charge in both nanotechnology research and a unique collaboration model to secure future economic success."
Mr. Mahabadi will co-manage the new nanotechnology collaboration with Dr. Nils Petersen, Director General, NINT.
NINT is a multi-disciplinary institution involving researchers in science, engineering, pharmacy, medicine, business and law. Established in 2001 and operated as a collaborative project of the NRC, the University of Alberta and the Government of Alberta, it conducts advanced research and fosters innovation in support of a new generation of nanotechnology-based firms.
"The combination of Xerox's industrial culture and dedication to the commercialization of invention and NINT's broad research experience and approach to open innovation provide the focus and skill sets to achieve innovation that is of value to the marketplace," said NRC Vice-President Richard Normandin. "This program will also expand NINT's industrial collaboration capacity, which will be beneficial for many Canadian firms."