Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AI Bio)
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Growing prosperity in Alberta's agriculture, food and forestry sectors
ABF CNC Challenge 2.0

Program Update

Thirty-eight proposals were submitted, according to the eligibility requirements in the Program Guidelines for CNC Challenge 2.0

Eleven projects received funding, and are underway.

About CNC

Alberta has one of the few pilot plants in the world capable of producing high-quality CNC (cellulose nanocrystals) in kilogram volumes. The plant is located on the premises of Alberta Innovates' applied research subsidiary, InnoTech Alberta, in south Edmonton.

CNC consists of nano-scale crystals made from cellulose (plant fibre), the most abundant polymer on earth.

This advanced biomaterial is:

  • Biodegradable
  • Non-toxic
  • Extremely strong
  • Has other unique properties that offer exciting opportunities for a wide range of applications

Current leading-edge research in Alberta includes applications in the fields of energy, health, industrial coatings, electronics and the environment.

About this program

Legacy corporations AI Bio and AITF collaborated to offer CNC Challenge 2.0, in follow up to an earlier program (CNC Challenge 1.0). This program supports early-stage work to demonstrate technical feasibility of CNC in high-value applications with potential for commercialization. 

Each successful applicant was provided with the following:

  • Up to $25,000 in funding for their CNC project research.
  • Up to one kilogram of CNC from the InnoTech Alberta pilot plant.
  • Access to InnoTech Alberta researchers, capacity and facilities.

Successful projects have the potential for ongoing support toward commercialization.

CNC Challenge 2.0 program contacts

Steve Price, Executive Director,  Bioindustrial Innovation

Christine Murray, PhD, Director, Agricultural Technologies

Gordon Giles, Director, Forestry

Marlene Huerta, PhD, Principal Business Advisor, Nano Programs
Alberta Innovates

Last updated: Friday, February 2, 2018