Nanotechnology is an identified priority area for Canada-India collaboration (as identified by the Canada-India Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee). The two countries have invested in relationship building activities, including:

  • Robust and cost effective on-silicon thin films
  • Bioparticle transport in nano-channels
  • Multifunctional self-contained sensors for harsh environments
  • Lab-on-a-Chip (LOC) devices

Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) has established strong agreements with three of India's top institutions and are actively funding researcher and student exchanges through a matching program between WIN and India's Nano Mission.

The projects are:

  • Nanoparticles for Targeted Cancer Therapy - Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IITB)
  • Patterning of Biomolecules for Biosensing - Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore (IISC)
  • New Material Moisture Barriers for Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLED) - IITB
  • Polymer-based Electronic Windows - IITB
  • Smart Tattoo Glucose Sensors - IITB
  • Localization of Analytes for Enhanced Bio-detection - IITB
  • Polymer Waveguides and Micro-fluidic Channels - IITB
  • Carbon Field Emission Sources for X-Ray Generation - Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) and IISC

WIN also has a strong relationship with Bigtec labs of India. Bigtec is an Indian microfluidics company that has developed a line of lab-on-a-chip portable diagnostic devices for several diseases including Hepatitis B and Malaria. They are looking to set up an office in Waterloo to be closer to WIN researchers.

India is a strategic partner for Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN)

A photo of Ajay Sood and Arthur Carty shaking hands.

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology led two delegation to India (2008 and 2009) to cultivate research projects with three top institutes and kick-start an exchange program.

A demonstration of a machine in IIT-Bombay.

Building on three years of interaction with the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai (IIT-Bombay), WIN co-organized a two day workshop to identify research collaborations. The delegates (Arthur Carty, Alain Francq, Frank Gu, Simarjeet Saini, Andrei Sazanov and John Yeow) met with key researchers and toured various labs and facilities. The workshop participants quickly identified complementary expertise and developed one-page abstracts with the idea of funding immediate exchanges to kick-start the projects.

A group photo of WIN delegates at IIT-Bombay.

Several of the delegates travelled on to Bangalore to visit the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Research (JNCASR) and Dr C.N.R. Rao who not only expressed interest in JNCASR to partner with WIN, but personally will become involved in a research project with WIN member John Yeow. The delegation tour the very impressive facilities, including their new $10 million titan microscope facility and meet top students from around the world working at JNCASR.

A demonstration at JNCASR.

The Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore (IISc) was the last stop on the mission. The delegation reconnected with Professors who were part of the 2006 India-Ontario Nanotechnology workshop hosted at Waterloo. A number of projects where rekindled and new ones created with Prof’s Sampath and Chen, Soon and Yeow.

A photo of Dr Yeow and Dr Rao.

John Yeow delivered a seminar to 13 employees at Bigtec Labs Inc. (Bangalore). Bigtec is an Indian microfluidics company that has developed a line of Lab-On-A-Chip (LOB) portable diagnostic devices for several diseases including hepatitis B and malaria. They are looking to set up an office in Waterloo to be closer to WIN researchers.

WIN’s objective was foster meaningful research collaboration by formalizing fresh Letters of Intent with each institution, to secure matching funds for $40,000 from the University of Waterloo and to tightly define a research projects and a implement a model research exchange program to kick start the projects.

WIN signed Letters of Intent with all three institutes, secured matching funds for a total of $80,000, which is being used to fund the following projects identified during the mission.

  1. Nanoparticles for targeted cancer therapy (IIT-Bombay)
  2. Patterning of biomolecules for biosensing (IISc)
  3. New material moisture barriers for Organic Light-Emitting Diodes (OLEDs) (IIT-Bombay)
  4. Polymer-based electronic windows (IIT-Bombay)
  5. Localization of analytes for enhanced bio-detection (IIT-Bombay)
  6. Carbon field emission sources for X-ray generation (JNCASR & IISc)
  7. Polymer waveguides and micro-fluidic channels (IIT-Bombay)
  8. Smart tattoo glucose sensors (IIT-Bombay)

Visit of Professors Sood and Sundararajan

The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology hosted two senior Indian officials; Professor Ajay Sood of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Professor G. Sundararajan, Director of the International Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials, Hyderabad as part of a larger, five Canadian university visit.

A screenshot of the Waterloo -IITB Partnership PDF file.Download the Waterloo -IITB Partnership (PDF).

The purpose of the visit was to build on a Canada-India agreement, signed in 2005, establishing a Joint Science & Technology (S&T) Cooperation Committee which identified priority areas for collaboration including nanotechnology. As part of the process and with the ultimate goal of developing a joint nanotechnology centre, $200,000 was pledged by the Indian government for a researcher exchange program between Indian and Canadian institutions in nanotechnology. This amount was subsequently matched by $40,000 contributions from each of 5 Canadian university major players in nanotech (Universities of British Columbia, Alberta, Waterloo, Toronto and McGill).

The visit by Drs Sood and Sundararajan was intended to assess the strengths and capacity of the Canadian institutions in nanotechnology as a basis for matching interests with Indian researchers and stimulating collaboration through researcher exchanges.

Professors Sood and Sundararajan made presentations outlining nanotechnology research at their respective Institutions as well as in India overall through India’s NanoMission program. Various meetings were scheduled with WIN members and a reception was held in their honour in the Davis Centre. In part as a result of this visit, five projects have been started between WIN researchers and Indian institutions.