NanoAtlantic: The start of a nanotech cluster in Atlantic Canada?

Attendees at the NanoAtlantic workshop, the first event of its kind in Atlantic Canada

This week our Chief Technical Officer Kulbir Singh attended the NanoAtlantic Academic-Industry Workshop at Dalhousie University, where he gave a presentation on Sona’s technology.

It was my great pleasure to meet local experts in nanotechnology and to speak about our technology and services at the NanoAtlantic workshop. The event was first of its kind in this part of Canada, and it proved to be very successful in connecting people from diverse backgrounds who have been working in nanotechnology for a number of years. Every talk was worth taking notes.

There was tremendous interest in Sona’s technology, both from academia and industry. Our technology was seen as novel and our products attracted lots of attention. Of particular interest was the fact our gold nanorods can produce multiple colors and are CTAB-free. These features were even referred to by other speakers.

At a scientific level I learned that Atlantic Canada is sufficiently equipped (both in technology and expertise) to carry out high-level nanotechnology development work and also to some extent production work. Together it is clear we can form a very strong cluster to tackle some of the challenges related to nano-biotechnology, nano-material fabrication and characterization, wearable electronics, water treatment, nano-sensors and nano-material toxicity.

This is actually one of the goals of NanoAtlantic, to connect people working in this field who are scattered all over Atlantic Canada. Some of our local nanotechnology experts are collaborating with major players in nanotechnology across the world, including Stanford University, energy company BP and oil and gas firm Baker Hughes. It was good to see that as well as expertise in experimental science, the region has people with strong skills in computational chemistry, some of whom attended the workshop.

The presence of NanoCanada, the national nanotechnology organization, added great value during the discussions about formalizing a NanoAltantic cluster. I’m anticipating great benefits to our local nanotechnology-based small businesses from a fully formalized NanoAtlantic cluster.

Finally, I’m grateful to Dr. Kimberley Halland her team at Dalhousie University for arranging this workshop and for taking the lead in organizing NanoAtlantic. The workshop clearly demonstrated the need to have a nanotechnology cluster in this region of Canada.

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