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Growing prosperity in Alberta's agriculture, food and forestry sectors
CNC Challenge 3.0

NEW: Researchers are invited to apply to the CNC Challenge 3.0 program 

(December 2017) 

Alberta Innovates invites proposals for funding under CNC Challenge 3.0. 

The CNC Challenge series serves as a pipeline for the development of applications for cellulose nanocrystals (CNC). It supports early-stage work to demonstrate technical feasibility of CNC in high-value applications with potential for commercialization.

About CNC

Alberta has one of the few pilot plants in the world capable of producing high-quality CNC 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

CNC Challenge 3.0 is a joint funding program offered by Alberta Innovates in partnership with Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. It follows two earlier programs, CNC Challenge 1.0 and CNC Challenge 2.0.

Each successful applicant in CNC Challenge 3.0 will be provided:  

  • 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.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Researchers at Canadian institutions, companies or other organizations. 
  • Projects must be completed within one year.

Download Program Guidelines for CNC Challenge 3.0 to find out more about eligibility requirements and other important information.

How to apply

This sub-program has a one-stage, online application process: Letter of Intent (LOI). LOIs will be accepted until February 1, 2018.  

Applicants will be contacted before the end of March 2018 about the status of their application. 

To apply for funding under the CNC Challenge 3.0 program, go to the online application system

This sample form can be downloaded as a reference to assist you in preparing your application:

These General Instructions for Applicants for the Research Funding Online Application System are also provided for your reference.

CNC Challenge 3.0 program contacts

Steve Price, Executive Director,  Bioindustrial Innovation
steve.price[at]albertainnovates.ca
780-450-5570

Christine Murray, PhD, Director, Agricultural Technologies
christine.murray[at]albertainnovates.ca
403-382-7188 

Gordon Giles, Director, Forestry
gordon.giles[at]albertainnovates.ca
780-450-5411

Fulton Smyl, Director, Bioindustrial Innovation 
fulton.smyl[at]albertainnovates.ca
780-450-5332


Last updated: Tuesday, December 19, 2017