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Investment increases Alberta’s capacity to bring micro and nanotechnology (MNT) products to market

Funding will help the University of Alberta’s nanoFAB facility to increase manufacturing volume and seize commercial opportunities

EDMONTONFeb. 11, 2019 /CNW/ – The Government of Canada is supporting the development and commercialization of innovative products to enhance Alberta’s advanced manufacturing sector, create high-quality jobs for the middle-class, and improve Canada’s competitiveness in the knowledge economy.

The University of Alberta’s nanoFAB facility will receive an investment of $1 million to help purchase three equipment tool sets essential to the multistep process of manufacturing many micro and nanotechnology (MNT) products. The new high-volume deposition tool, contact aligners, and etching tools will help companies develop products at higher volumes than currently possible using existing equipment.

The funding was announced today by the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Mill Woods, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. This investment will help bridge the gap between creating technology and bringing it to market. By expanding nanoFAB’s manufacturing capacity to a commercial scale, companies can increase production of new and existing MNT products and pursue new commercial opportunities.

Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan aims to build an economy in which Canadians have access to high-quality jobs and Canadian businesses are well-placed to participate in a rapidly evolving and competitive global marketplace. Today’s investment contributes to a broader innovation ecosystem, which helps position Alberta as a manufacturing destination for MNT products.


Canada’s future prosperity depends on Canadian businesses, both large and small. With access to the best research facilities and tools, they can bring innovative, boundary-pushing ideas to market. This funding through Western Economic Diversification Canada will help Alberta businesses grow, prosper and compete globally as technology leaders.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“Our government is energizing the economy by fostering strong partnerships – from start-ups to large firms to post-secondary institutions. Our investment in the University of Alberta will make nanoFAB a cornerstone of the regional innovation ecosystem. It will help firms develop new micro and nanotechnology while creating well-paying jobs and prosperity for Canada.”
– The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Mill Woods

Alberta is home to some of Canada’s innovation leaders, and we are proud to support the commercialization of great ideas and technologies through partnerships like nanoFAB at the University of Alberta. Our government’s investment of $1 million will help diversify Alberta’s micro and nanotechnology sector by supporting the commercialization of advanced manufacturing technologies to grow our knowledge-based economy. This funding will support future innovation and long-term economic and social benefits for Alberta.”
– The Honourable Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Government of Alberta

“Micralyne is proud to support the federal and provincial governments’ funding initiatives in micro and nano technology. As an Alberta company with more than 20 years of high tech commercial manufacturing experience, we believe this to be a great example of university and industry collaboration. This will help bridge the gap between academic research and commercial deployment.”
– Ian Roane, President and CEO, Micralyne Inc

“U of A researchers are working at the forefront of micro and nanotechnology, creating unique opportunities in our province. With industry and government support—like we’re seeing today—their expertise is shaping a world-class innovation and manufacturing sector right here in Alberta.”
– David Turpin, President and Vice-chancellor, University of Alberta

Quick Facts

  • The nanoFAB is a national, open-access training, service, and collaboration centre supporting research and development in nano sciences and engineering.
  • NanoFAB’s new capabilities is anticipated to help 10 Alberta companies bring five products to market, hire 50 highly qualified personnel (HQP), and generate $20 million in industry revenue.
  • Micro and nanotechnology is used in life sciences, clean technology, digital technology and other sectors.