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  • UWaterloo, Albany to Collaborate on Nanotech
May 2006
WATERLOO, Ontario, May 10, 2006 -- The University of Waterloo (UW) announced it has reached a collaborative agreement with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany-State University of New York as part of a plan to advance nanotechnology research across borders.

Anthony Vannelli, associate dean of research and external partnerships in UW's faculty of engineering, and James Castracane, CNSE's associate vice president for science and technology, recently signed the nanotechnology agreement, UW said. It will allow for an exchange of information in nanotechnology, including technical, economic, education and business; and it will identify and enable the development of international collaboration and partnerships.

The two institutions are planning to strengthen educational ties with their undergraduate students in nanotechnology (science and engineering programs about the design and production of atom-sized structures) and give graduate students at both campuses access to top-level facilities, UW said.

CNSE is located is a $3 billion, 450,000-sq-ft complex that is also home to CNSE's New York State Center of Excellence in Nanoelectronics and houses the only pilot prototyping facilities in the academic world for the two standard sizes in computer chip design, 8-in. and 12-in. wafers.

UW offers the only stand-alone undergraduate program in nanotechnology engineering in Canada. The multidisciplinary program provides learning through 48 science and engineering courses for nanotechnology students, 29 comprehensive laboratories and 24 months of cooperative work experience.

UW is building the $70 million Quantum-Nano Centre to house the more than 500 nanotechnology undergraduate students anticipated by 2010, an expected enrollment of 125 nanotechnology graduate students and the growing number of faculty members expert in nanotechnology. The 225,000-sq-ft advanced center will accommodate the nanotechnology program and Waterloo's Institute for Quantum Computing and feature a laboratory focusing on nanofabrication, nanometrology and nanobiosystems.

UW and CNSE signed the collaborative agreement at a roundtable event organized by the Consulate General of Canada in New York, involving more than 40 experts in nanotechnology from Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

At the event, Vannelli and Castracane spoke on behalf of their organizations and expressed their mutual commitment to bringing about real collaboration between the two institutions, UW said. The experts also gathered to learn about developments in nanotechnology research, as well as fostering discussion and facilitating cross-border collaboration in nanotechnology.

The consulate-led event attracted senior researchers from various universities, institutes, private companies and funding organizations, UW said. It focused on three key areas of nanotechnology: life sciences, advanced materials/energy and photonics/electronics. In addition to learning more about research activities at more than 34 institutions, participants discussed the different funding sources, both public and private, and the availability for cross-border collaboration, including joint research activities, subcontracting research and commercialization assistance for joint projects.

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The use of atoms, molecules and molecular-scale structures to enhance existing technology and develop new materials and devices. The goal of this technology is to manipulate atomic and molecular particles to create devices that are thousands of times smaller and faster than those of the current microtechnologies.
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