The achievements of Sona Nanotech and one of its founders, Dr Kulbir Singh, have been highlighted in the Parliament of Canada.
Mary Coyle, a Senator representing Nova Scotia, spoke about our work as part of a statement she recently made in the Senate on the subject of ‘Immigration and Innovation in Rural Nova Scotia’.
She told fellow Senators she would like to “sing the praises” of two immigrants who had settled in Antigonish – Thomas Steinhart, a German who runs an award-winning distillery and restaurant, and Sona Nanotech’s Dr Kulbir Singh, an Indian who originally came to the community as a postdoc researcher at St. Francis Xavier University, where Senator Coyle has worked since 1997.
Describing Dr Singh as “a chemical wizard”, she explained how he founded Sona along with doctors Gerry Marangoni and Mike McAlduff and talked about the company’s journey from its origins in a chemistry lab at St FX to a CSE-listed company distributing its products around the world.
She explained how the company takes its name from Dr Singh’s native language – Sona means gold in Hindi – and described Sona’s innovative technology and how it would make a difference to people’s lives.
“Sona’s scientific breakthrough was to create gold nanorods and nanoparticles without a toxic chemical so they can then be used inside the human body,” she said. “This makes them useful for medical applications such as drug delivery and cancer treatments. The tabla-playing Dr Singh’s dream is to have his technology used extensively in cancer treatment, especially in the developing world.”
Summing up, Senator Coyle said: “Whether producing world-class gin or new photothermal cancer treatment technology, these two Antigonish immigrant innovators, Kulbir Singh and Thomas Steinhart, are creating jobs and wealth in our province. We are very proud of them.”
Dr Singh, who is now Sona’s Chief Technology Officer, said he was “honoured” that his work had been praised in the Parliament of Canada.
“I grew up in a poor, rural area of India and although I had big dreams, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to fulfil them,” he said. “Not only have I been lucky enough to travel half way around the world to further my education, but also to become part of an incredible team of scientists at the forefront of nanotechnology. I am very proud of Sona and its achievements and I would like to sincerely thank Senator Coyle for her kind words of support and encouragement.”
You can read Senator Coyle’s statement in full here.