Honourable Navdeep Singh Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry
Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion, and International Trade
Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
While we experience the devastating effects of a global pandemic on our economy, we are grateful for the decisive actions taken by the Canadian government in protecting enterprises of all sizes and their workers.
We write to you today in support of NanoCanada, a pan-Canadian not for profit industry association, that connects Canada’s advanced materials and nanotechnology community for a global impact. NanoCanada showcases SMEs in global markets, tracks and measures economic impact, supports safe technology development, and connects stakeholders through regional, national, and international activities. NanoCanada provides leadership for the international joint working group on the development of nanotechnology standards (International Standards Organisation technical committee 229), as good standards are key to trade and global competitiveness of Canadian products.
In the last 5 years, NanoCanada has brought over 115 Canadian companies on international missions that have yielded over 35 million dollars of economic impact, the hiring of over 50 highly-qualified personnel, and the creation of more than 100 jobs across the country. NanoCanada has consistently leveraged modest operational funds with a return on investment greater than 20:1. With the encouragement of its community, NanoCanada submitted an application to the Strategic Innovation Fund stream 5 for national associations in August 2019, hoping that this funding mechanism could provide much needed operational funds.
With limited government support, along with indefinite delays in communication of funding decisions for the SIF program, and uncertain membership income due to the pandemic, NanoCanada is facing an uncertain future. For Canadian SMEs, this means the loss of an effective network of connections, resources, and competitive advantage across Canada and abroad.
The strategic importance of advanced materials and nanotechnologies during this pandemic crisis cannot be overemphasized. Our community’s expertise is being deployed in the fight against COVID-19: as coatings for virus-resistant textiles, mRNA-lipid nanoparticle vaccines, DNA-RNA sequencing, and rapid antibody testing. Thanks to NanoCanada’s international reputation, our community is invited to participate in a Global Pandemic Taskforce driven by industry in America, Europe, and Asia. Clearly, our community must be part of Canada’s economic recovery plan.
As you reflect on ways to support our innovative business communities, we urge you to take immediate steps to support NanoCanada, which is so passionately engaged in ensuring Canada’s global competitiveness.