A new nanosystems facility at the University of Calgary is helping push Calgary to the forefront of micro-science.

The micro-nanotechnology integration and packaging facility will provide an important link between fundamental research and commercial prototyping, university officials say.

The campus facility is part of a $130-million provincial nanotechnology strategy designed to improve Alberta's "value-added" economy in the areas of energy, the environment, health and medical technologies, and agriculture and forestry The ultra-clean, vibration-free environment will be used to integrate conventional technologies with emerging nanoscale processes. Built on a metre-thick floating concrete pad, the restricted-access "clean room" houses a unique combination of tools.

The facility is located in the Schlumberger iCentre at the Calgary Centre for Innovative Technology (CCIT), a research-intensive wing of the Schulich School of Engineering at the U of C.

The Alberta government's five-year nano-strategy includes investments in graduate student scholarships, $30 million to build a workforce in emerging nanotech companies, $8 million to establish a nano-packaging/nano-product development centre, $15 million to create an industrial applied research partnership program and $5.5 million to create nanoAlberta, which will help mobilize players and resources across the province.