Proposed microfluidics NCE generating big interest

Guest Contributor
July 29, 2002

The Canadian Microelectronics Corp is participating in a proposal to the Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE)to develop laboratories on a chip The Network is seeking $7 million annually and will focus primarily on biomedical and environmental applications, as well as security, forensics and social policy.

“The Network would conduct applied basic research to develop integrated platforms and process them on a single chip,” says Dr Linda Pilarski, a professor of oncology at the Univ of Alberta. “CMC is interested in getting into the micro systems and nano side of things and they would play a critical role. They are superb managers and they would be our distribution arm.”

To be called Microsystems and Nano-science Network for Health and the Environment, the idea has elicited strong interest from all levels of government, many agencies, the National Research Council and the private sector.

A letter of intent was submitted by the July 12th deadline and a decision on whether the proposal will proceed is expected in October. The NCE program has $12 million annually up for grabs and the final decision on whether to fund two or three new Networks with will be made next March.

“If we don’t get the funding we will do this anyway. It’s too important not to,” says Pilarski. “We have the potential to make a huge difference to the health care system.”

Pilarski says the proposed Network would also have a strong commercialization focus to build up receptor capacity.


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