Changing of the guard at Canada’s National Institute of Nanotechnology

The executive director (Nils Petersen) has passed on (to the University of Alberta’s science faculty), l9ng live the executive director (Marie D’Iorio) of Canada’s National Institute of Nanotechnology (NINT), long may she reign. (I think Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee may be getting to me.) From the May 31, 2012 news release on Market Wire,

An expert in nano-electronics will lead Canada’s National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) into its second decade. The NINT governing council has named Dr. Marie D’Iorio as its new Executive Director. Trained as a physicist, Dr. D’Iorio’s expertise is in nano-electronics. She had been acting as NINT’s interim Director General since last year.

NINT is one of the National Research Council Institutes,

During her time as acting Director General of NINT, Dr. D’Iorio led the strategic planning process for NINT’s second decade. The resulting plan aims to increase industrial collaboration and re-organize the Institute’s research and development activities into four application areas, including energy generation storage and hybrid nano-scale electronics.

“Nanotechnology can help Canadian companies be more competitive and NINT is key to them finding the right applications for their sector,” said John R McDougall, President of the National Research Council of Canada. “Marie D’Iorio’s mission is to expand NINT’s engagement with Canadian industry and help them benefit from the potential of small tech.”

McDougall’s comments come on the heels of the recommendations by the panel reviewing  Canada’s R&D (research and development) funding (mentioned in my May 29, 2012 posting),

Recommendation 4: Transform the institutes of the National Research Council (NRC) into a constellation of large-scale, sectoral collaboration R&D centres involving business, the university sector and the provinces while transferring public policy-related research activity to the appropriate federal agencies. (p. E12 print version, p. 26 PDF, Innovation Canada: A Call to Action)

I wonder if the panel was looking at the NINT as a model for the National Research Council’s other institutes (from the May 31, 2012 news release),

The National Institute for Nanotechnology is Canada’s leading research and technology development organization working at the nano-scale. Founded in 2001, it is a joint initiative of the National Research Council of Canada, the University of Alberta, the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada. Its mission is to transform nanoscience ideas into novel, sustainable nanotechnology solutions with socioeconomic benefits for Canada and Alberta.

Interestingly, the National Research Council’s (NRC) president, John McDougall, is from Alberta, as is Prime Minister Stephen Harper,  (from the NRC’s McDougall biography webpage),

Mr. John R. McDougall, a leader in Canadian science and technology policy and innovation, was appointed as NRC’s President in April 2010.

Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta and honoured as one of the province’s 50 most influential citizens, Mr. McDougall’s career spans many sectors, with a broad and far reaching range of accomplishments and roles to his credit.

Until recently, Mr. McDougall served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Alberta Research Council (ARC), a position he has held for the past 12 years.

You can also find this  May 31, 2012 announcement on Nanowerk but it’s not yet (as of June 1, 2012 11:30 am PST) in the NINT’s News Section.

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