ArboraNano - the Canadian Forest NanoProducts Network selected as a new Business-led Network funded by the Government of Canada



    MONTREAL, Feb. 23 /CNW Telbec/ - FPInnovations is pleased to announce
that ArboraNano - the Canadian Forest NanoProducts Network has been selected
as one of four new Business-led Networks funded by the Government of Canada.
ArboraNano is receiving $8.9 million over four years. Announced in Budget
2007, the goal of the Business-led Networks of Centres of Excellence program
is to fund large-scale, collaborative networks led by the private sector and
focused on specific business research needs.
    ArboraNano, a research and development network bringing together
nanotechnology and forest sector expertise, will strive to create a new
Canadian bio-economy based on innovative, highly-engineered, carbon-neutral
products containing nanomaterials. Wood and wood fibre from Canada's vast
forests can converted into high-value nanomaterials and intermediates, and
these can be used to produce a variety of unique advanced products.
    These nanomaterials and the products developed from them will have
applications in many industrial sectors, including aerospace, automotive,
medical devices, chemicals, composites, cosmetics, pharmaceutical, coatings
and forest products,. The ArboraNano network will involve the collaboration of
Canadian scientists and engineers from these industries, as well as from
university and government laboratories. It will provide the means to combine
fundamental and applied research with private sector innovation in order to
take advantage of Canada's vast sustainable natural forest resource.
    Mr. Dave McDonald, Vice-President, Pulp and Paper, FPInnovations said
that "many of the new products will be based on a plant-derived nanomaterial -
NanoCrystalline Cellulose (NCC), while others will use other nanomaterials in
the development of new forest products. NCC is a nanomaterial that has yet to
establish a presence in the marketplace but that holds great promise. Research
by FPInnovations scientists has shown that NCC has many remarkable properties,
some of which are unique and others that are comparable to those of other
well-known nanomaterials."
    NCC can be economically extracted from trees. The properties of NCC and
the many forms in which it can be made means that it has the potential to be
used in many different ways, namely advanced building products, recyclable
structural and interior components for the transportation industry, innovative
coatings and fillers for papermaking, novel bioplastics, fibre-reinforced
composites, switchable optical films, bio-composites for bone repair,
additives for paints/pigments/inks and for cosmetic products, iridescent or
magnetic films, electrically-conductive membranes, printed paper electronic
devices, encapsulated quantum semiconductor crystal dots, and advanced or
"intelligent" packaging materials. FPInnovations researchers have also shown
the advantage of using nanomaterials other than NCC to significantly enhance
the performance of forest products such as building materials, paper, board,
packaging.
    By using nanomaterials in various ways, increased strength and toughness,
and improved resistance to wear, moisture and UV damage can be achieved. By
taking advantage of unique properties such as colour, anti-microbial activity
and self-cleaning properties, a multitude of novel forest nanoproducts can be
created.
    "Nanotechnology bridges a broad spectrum of scientific disciplines and
cuts across many industrial sectors. The growing interest in nanotechnology is
a consequence of the promise this science holds to create new materials for a
wide variety of manufactured goods," stated Pierre Lapointe, President and
CEO, FPInnovations. "Nanotechnology is expected to represent a dominant force
in economic growth over the next few decades and has been identified as a
strategic platform for development. ArboraNano will build on this strategic
platform and apply Canada's forest resource to create new unique opportunities
for Canadian manufacturing industries", concluded Mr. Lapointe.

    About FPInnovations

    FPInnovations is a not-for-profit world leader which specializes in the
creation of scientific solutions in support of the Canadian forest sector's
global competitiveness, and responds to the priority needs of its industrial
and government members. It is ideally positioned to perform research, to
innovate, and to deliver state-of-the-art solutions for every area of the
sector's value chain, from forestry operations to consumer and industrial
products. Created from the merger of the three main Canadian forest sector
research institutes: FERIC, Forintek Canada Corp., and Paprican, FPInnovations
also provides technical direction to the Natural Resources Canada's Canadian
Wood Fibre Centre. FPInnovations' staff numbers more than 600. Its research
laboratories are located in Québec City, Montréal, and Vancouver, with
technology transfer offices across Canada.

    About NanoCrystalline Cellulose (NCC) and the ArboraNano Network

    Please consult the Publications page of FPInnovations' website at
www.fpinnovations.ca/publications_e.htm




For further information:

For further information: Nathalie Guilbault, Corporate Communications
Director, (514) 630-4124, nathalie.guilbault@fpinnovations.ca; Ron Crotogino,
Leader, ArboraNano Network, (514) 630-4111, ron.crotogino@fpinnovations.ca


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