Transportation is one of Canada´s most vital industries. The automotive sector alone is one of Canada's largest manufacturing sector. According to the latest statistics, the Canadian automotive sector accounts for 12 percent of manufacturing Gross Domestic Product and 24 percent of manufacturing trade. It also employs some 109,350 Canadians in automotive assembly and component manufacturing, and more than 336,000 in distribution and aftermarket sales and service.

Despite its success, the automotive sector faces ongoing and emerging challenges in many areas: productivity, safety, trade and emissions--to name just a few. To address these concerns and develop cars of the future, automotive companies must conduct a wide variety of research and development activities.

Nanotechnology plays an increasingly important role in these activities. Companies in the automotive sector are exploring how nanotechnology can be used to create a variety of advances to increase fuel-efficiency, improve vehicle performance and enhance passenger safety.

Advances in nanotechnology are also being applied in the aerospace sector. For instance, plasma spray coatings have been used to create wear-resistant surfaces for plastic and metal injection moulding tools. And work is underway to create turbine blades that are more resistant to wear and corrosion, and develop a more environmentally friendly process for hard-chrome plating.