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Nano Institute Features Canada's Quietest Space
Jun 2006
EDMONTON, Alberta, June 22, 2006 -- Hundreds of Canada's leading scientists and engineers gathered in Edmonton today to celebrate the opening of one of the world's most technologically advanced research facilities, the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT). The $52.2 million facility is designed to provide optimal conditions for nanoscale research and to foster collaboration among researchers. It includes a suite of characterization labs located in "Canada's quietest space" -- to scientists, that means a place with ultralow vibration and minimal acoustical noise or electromagnetic interference, which is essential for research at the nanoscale.

The 20,000-square-meter building will be shared by the National Research Council (NRC) National Institute for Nanotechnology and the University of Alberta. It will include the NINT Innovation Centre, a research transfer facility where tenants working on commercializing nanotechnology will lease both lab and office space. Other specialized spaces include laboratories for chemical and biochemical synthesis and analysis of the material structure at the atomic scale; and a Class 1000 cleanroom for the production of nanostructured systems. The facility will house more than $40 million of the latest generation of scientific equipment including electron and scanning probe microscopes, and chemical and material analysis instruments. NINT will occupy five floors and the top two floors will be used by the University of Alberta for nanotechnology-related research.

"Not only will this institute be home to some of the most innovative and pioneering research in the world, these facilities will contribute to improving Canada's innovation performance," said Maxime Bernier, minister of industry. "It will increase our nation's ability to compete in the global marketplace, and I have no doubt that the research carried out here will touch the lives of all Canadians."

The cost for the NINT portion of the building was $52.2 million. The Government of Alberta provided $40 million for the building; the remaining funding was from the Government of Canada through the National Research Council, Western Economic Diversification Canada and Natural Resources Canada.

The National Institute for Nanotechnology conducts advanced research and fosters innovation in support of nanotechnology-based firms. It integrates NRC and University of Alberta researchers from numerous disciplines. Established in 2001, NINT is a joint initiative of the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, the NRC and the University of Alberta.

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