Nanotechnology award no small feat

Ingenuity Lab recognition draws global attention to UAlberta-based nanotech research.


Ingenuity Lab director Carlo Montemagno discusses how the research initiative is using nanotechnology to tackle Alberta’s environmental, agricultural, industrial and health challenges. (Video: The New Economy)

(Edmonton) Ingenuity Lab, a nanotechnology accelerator based at the University of Alberta, has been named “Best Nanotechnology Research Organization 2014” by The New Economy magazine, just under two years after its inception.

The award, presented to Ingenuity Lab director Carlo Montemagno last month at the London Stock Exchange Group studios, honours those who are breaking new ground in technology, energy, business and strategy.

“As researchers in a complex field, we have the added challenge of ensuring our progress is both visible and meaningful to the people it will touch and affect most,” said Montemagno. “This award affirms that we are on the right track and laboratory advances are indeed rippling into the communities where they matter.”

Launched in November 2013, the 10-year, provincially funded Ingenuity Lab is Alberta’s first nanotechnology accelerator. In partnership with the U of A and Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures, it is expected to reach more than $100 million in funds leveraged from industry partners over the next decade and has developed a comprehensive research agenda that aims to address some of the province’s most pressing environmental, agricultural, industrial and health challenges.

“The depth and breadth of the research at Ingenuity Lab is really quite remarkable,” said U of A President Indira Samarasekera. “This leading-edge learning environment has helped unite academic communities and provided concrete opportunities for interdisciplinary progress both within and outside our university.”

“The international recognition Ingenuity Lab has achieved adds to Alberta’s growing global reputation for research and innovation excellence,” said Stephen Lougheed, CEO of Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures. “The strength of Alberta’s innovation system lies in the partnerships and collaborations it encourages between academic institutions, research institutions, businesses and industries.”

“We are the product of a bold vision and the dedication of many,” said Montemagno. “It feels great to be recognized so early on in our journey, especially by a publication like The New Economy, which truly has its finger on the pulse of novel and emergent technologies.”

Montemagno is also a professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the U of A, AITF Strategic Chair of Bionanotechnology, Canada Research Chair in Intelligent Nanosystems, and program lead of biomaterials at the National Institute for Nanotechnology.