4D LABS becomes the fifth and newest member of this national, cooperative network of service-ready nanofabrication labs based in academic institutions, joining founding members the nanoFAB (University of Alberta), the Toronto Nanofabrication Centre (TNFC, University of Toronto), GCM Lab (Polytechnique Montréal), and the Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT, Université de Sherbrooke).
Arising from Canada’s significant investment in university- and college-based micro-nanotechnology (MNT) infrastructure, labs participating in the FACT Network offer specialized facilities, expertise and partnership opportunities to assist academic and industrial clients. These facilities offer both open access to users, and services delivered by on-site staff. These services can accelerate the research cycle when, for example, hands-on access by the client isn’t the optimal solution, or the lab’s in-house expertise adds critical value to the client’s own capabilities.
These labs must demonstrate technical expertise, a dedication to high-quality service, and a track record of R&D projects for external clients, including industry. They work with CMC Microsystems and each other, using shared business practices and project protocols, and a harmonized intellectual property framework. They also have the capacity to position fabrication projects for technology scale-up.
“4D LABS is honored to become the newest member of the national FACT network,” says Neil Branda, Executive Director at 4D LABS. “The shared capabilities of this network provide Canadian academic and industrial researchers access to a wealth of expertise and cutting-edge research facilities. It will, without any doubt, further foster innovation here at 4D LABS and across Canada.”
“Lowering barriers to high-quality R&D and fabrication services enables researchers to innovate more quickly and efficiently,” says Dan Gale, founding member of the MNT Laboratory Working Group and Vice-President and CTO of CMC Microsystems. “The participation of 4D LABS in the FACT initiative enhances both the extent and diversity of the network’s infrastructure and expertise. This network has the potential to fill an important gap in Canada’s innovation ecosystem. We’re excited to have 4D on board.”
“Emerging technologies face many challenges in making the leap from academic labs to production centres. An innovator’s new material or device is not necessarily compatible with an established manufacturing line,” says Andrew Fung, who manages business development of the FACT Network. “We want to bridge these gaps by prototyping in process demonstration facilities like 4D LABS. For innovators, the FACT Network opens some key avenues for flexibility and technology de-risking.”