Canadian private-sector and public-sector research labs are getting together in a partnership focused on materials-based nanotechnology that could one day lead to new kinds of toners, inks and other supplies.
The Xerox Research Centre of Canada (XRCC) in Mississauga, Ont., and the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) in Edmonton will collaborate on nanotechnology research projects.
The National Research Council and the Alberta government are backers of NINT, along with the University of Alberta, and will join XRCC and NINT in providing about $4.5 million for the materials-based nanotechnology research over the next three years.
Hadi Mahabadi, vice-president and director of the Xerox Research Centre of Canada, said the partnership is unique because for the first time, Xerox will open up research directly related to its core business to outside researchers.
The joint research team will work on nanomaterials research meant to help Xerox develop new toners, inks and other materials useful in printing, which is its central business. Mahabadi said Xerox will retain intellectual property rights to the use of technology arising from the collaboration in printing, but the same materials might eventually have other uses.
Particle research that helps produce better toners, for example, might also lead to new ways of applying dry coatings to car bodies. “One person could use it for toner, and the other person could use it for paint,” Mahabadi said.