Establishing Nanotech BC
Members of the steering committee, first formed in 2003, shouldered much of the early work to raise awareness and launch Nanotech BC. In particular, Victor Jones contributed to putting the society on a firm legal footing and together with other members, piloted the groups initial outreach to similar organizations across Canada and the United States. In May, Alan Guest was recruited as an interim Executive Director and has recently completed a series of important milestones for the organization. Nanotech BC’s first official board meeting took place on 18 July 2006 with Bruce Schmidt (Genome BC) assuming Chairman/President, Michael Alldritt (NRC-IRAP) as the Vice Chair, and Chris Erickson (Panaea Ventures Ltd.) as Treasurer/Secretary. The board appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers as its auditors and McCarthy Tetrault as legal council. Offices are established at the Leading Edge Technology Centre in Vancouver providing downtown meeting rooms for the various activities of the society. The board has also adopted a business plan and budget.
As a result of work by Michael Alldritt, $100,000 as been allocated by National Research Council’s IRAP program to initiate Nanotech BC. Nanotech BC also received a donation of $50,000 from the British Columbia Ministry of Advanced Education, thanks to Ken Armour. Further fund contributions are anticipated this year to meet the 2006 budget target of $250,000. Full banking facilities are now established with CIBC.
Nanotech BC has been actively engaged with other organizations, and has sponsored attendance at meetings in Montreal (with NanoQuebec), in Edmonton (at NanoForum Canada 2006, the opening of NINT, and interprovincial meetings addressing nanotechnology strategy), and at the recent ONAMI conference in Vancouver Washington. The team also hosted an incoming trade mission from the South Eastern United States in early June. Through these activities Nanotech BC is beginning to establish itself as the gateway to exploring British Columbia’s nanotechnology resources and activities.
Nanotech BC is working with Prof. Neil Branda at Simon Fraser University to provide logistical support for a new NanoMed Canada website currently under development. Nanotech BC is also exploring collaborative opportunities between BC and Alberta to formulating a joint project to roadmap key technologies of mutual interest in both jurisdictions. If successful this model may form the basis of future interprovincial or national initiatives.