The National Research Council (NRC) is the Government of Canada's premier organization for research and development. It has been active since 1916.
NRC comprises many institutes involved in nanotechnology. These include the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT), Institute for National Measurement Standards (INMS), Steacie Institute of Molecular Science (SIMS), Institute for Microstructural Science (IMS), Institute for Aerospace Research (IAR), Institute for Chemical Process and Environment Technology (ICPET), Industrial Materials Institute (IMI), Biotechnology Research Institute(BRI), Institute for Research in Construction (IRC), Integrated Manufacturing Technologies Institute (IMTI), and the Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (IFCI). See below for explanation on the Institutes
See the section on NINT “Provincial Focus – Western & Central Canada.”
NRC-INMS Dimensional Metrology Program supports Canada's nanotechnology program by providing comprehensive calibration services for highest accuracy dimensional measurements in Canada. Dimensional parameters supported by the program include length, angle, flatness, roundness, diameter, surface roughness and 3-D form. The group also develops state-of-the-art instrumentation for custom measurements, conducts and coordinates investigations, fundamental research and scientific studies. NRC-INMS is a member of the key international committees that are developing standards for nanometrology and through its participation will ensure Canadian manufacturers have access to the reference materials they will need.
NRC-SIMS, located in Ottawa and Chalk River (Ontario), conducts cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in selected areas of molecular sciences that have the potential to stimulate entirely new or emerging sectors of the Canadian economy. Strategic molecular sciences research fields for NRC-SIMS include: nanoscience, chemical biology, diagnostics, laser science, molecular interfaces, advanced materials, and their related technologies.
The National Research Council Institute for Microstructural Sciences (NRC-IMS), in Ottawa, Ontario is one of Canada's most important research facilities devoted to discovering the quantum, electronic, and photonic properties of leading edge materials. NRC-IMS develops devices and integrates them into complex IT-enabled systems. The Institute prides itself on delivering prototypes and integrated system solutions for health, environment, energy, security, information, and communication sectors.
IMS' core research competencies include photonic and quantum devices, organic and inorganic semiconductors, nanotechnology, materials processing and nanofabrication, thin film technologies and acoustics.
Located in Ottawa (Ontario) and Montréal (Quebec), NRC-IAR is taking Canadian aerospace research to new heights. It is innovating the design, performance and safety of aerospace vehicles like helicopters and passenger jets. It also supports development and commercialization of leading-edge technologies and networking in Canada and the world.
NRC researchers across Canada are developing new surface coating techniques and thin-films that provide significant performance benefits to existing products. NRC-IAR is working to develop a more environmentally friendly process for hard chrome plating and to provide wear and corrosion resistance for turbine blades.
Located in Ottawa, Ontario, NRC-ICPET develops new, environmentally-friendly technology to increase the competitiveness of Canadian industry. Every day, world-class scientists work with industry partners to develop new materials and processes that produce cleaner power and use less energy.
Nanotechnology has the potential to revolutionize the manufacturing sector. At NRC-ICPET, scientists are developing nanomaterials with improved functionality in order to create a new generation of products and devices.
Located in Boucherville and Saguenay, Quebec, NRC-IMI is promoting the growth and competitiveness of the Canadian industry through research and development in materials processing technologies. It works with a wide variety of industry sectors to develop and improve technologies that meet the needs of 21st century consumers.
Researchers at NRC-IMI have improved the physical properties of some polymers by 50% through the addition of nanometer-sized particles of clay. Similar performance improvements can be foreseen through the development of coatings, catalysts, and membranes. NRC-IMI, in partnership with a number of major companies, also operates the Technology Group on Polymer Nanocomposites, a research and development program with an annual budget of $300 000.
NRC-BRI, located in Montréal, Quebec, is improving the health of Canadians and the environment by promoting, assisting and performing leading-edge research and development in biochemical engineering and molecular-level biology. It work is closely linked to the needs of pharmaceutical and environmental industries.
At NRC-BRI, researchers are developing biosensors that couple nanostructures with biological elements, electronics, and architectures at the atomic and molecular levels. These nanobiosensors can be used to detect pathogens, heavy metals, and other molecules in the environment, health, and food industries.
Located in Ottawa, Ontario, NRC-IRC recognizes that nanotechnology is a key technology for the future of the construction industry. Researchers at NRC-IRC are developing nanotechnology across a broad range of applications, focusing on the Institute's key areas of expertise, including concrete and bituminous materials, fire risk management, insulation and indoor air quality. NRC-IRC's strength in nanotechnology comes from its multi-disciplinary research team, which has experience both in creating new materials and product development. NRC-IRC nanotechnology researchers include chemists, materials scientists, physicists, civil engineers and mechanical engineers, with expertise in a wide range of research areas.
The National Research Council of Canada's Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (NRC-IFCI) in Vancouver, British Columbia, is Canada's premier applied research organization dedicated to supporting Canada's fuel cell and hydrogen industry. NRC-IFCI works independently and in partnership with universities, government agencies and companies on projects focused on the research, development, demonstration and testing of hydrogen and fuel cell systems. NRC-IFCI houses NRC's tribology research group, which is working on the understanding of wear and friction properties at the nanoscale.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) seeks to enhance the responsible development and use of Canada’s natural resources and the competitiveness of Canada’s natural resource products. We are an established leader in science and technology in the fields of energy, forests and minerals and metals, and we use our expertise in earth sciences to build and maintain an up-to-date knowledge base of our landmass.
NRCan develops policies and programs that enhance the contribution of the natural resource sectors to the economy and improve the quality of life for all Canadians. As well, the department conducts innovative science in facilities across Canada to generate ideas and transfer technologies. It also represents Canada at the international level to meet the country's global commitments related to the sustainable development of natural resources, resource management policies and product standards. As part of its mandate, NRCan has supported industry research institutes and undertaken significant in-house research on nanotechnology in both the forestry and minerals and metals sectors, mainly on emerging, advanced chemicals and materials.
Through NRCan's Transformative Technologies Research Program, FPInnovations-- the hub of the forest sector innovation system in Canada--has developed and patented a process to economically extract cellulose nanocrystals (CNC) from wood. CNC is then processed into dry, solid flakes, films and gels for use in biocomposites, bioplastics, iridescent coatings, wear-resistant surface treatments, high strength materials, drug delivery, oil and gas specialty chemicals, and more.
Through the Emerging Materials Program at the CANMET Materials Technology Laboratory, processes and technologies are developed for eco materials, such as photocatalysts to address the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants and defence materials, such as armour material for defence applications.