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For Immediate Release


Sept. 21, 2005

Ministry of Advanced Education




BURNABY – Provincial government funding of $7.4 million will help fund 4D LABS at Simon Fraser University (SFU). 4D LABS will be a state-of-the-art research centre that aims to accelerate the design and development of advanced materials and nanoscale devices.


The 4D LABS research team will bring together an international, unified, and multi-disciplinary group of chemists, engineers and physicists who are at the very leading edge of research internationally,” said Advanced Education Minster Murray Coell. “With this funding, they will have the tools and the skills to make significant breakthroughs that will benefit all British Columbians in the coming years.”


4D LABS will construct devices that incorporate newly developed nanostructured materials. Nanotechnology is a science based on the unique behaviour displayed by materials at the molecular or atomic level. Materials at the nanoscale are one-billionth of a metre – approximately 1/80,000th of the width of a human hair.


Through nanotechnology, tomorrow’s cell phone might have the capacity of today’s supercomputer. Nanoparticles could be loaded with drugs and sent to specific areas of the body to fight disease. Lightweight composite materials could lessen the weight of cars and make them more efficient.


The project will include 1,715 square metres of space within the new Technology and Science Complex at SFU, currently under construction, with a planned opening date of September 2006. This facility will house a core team of seven researchers, each with a proven track record of high-level independent research, to work together and with external partners from industry or other universities on projects that none can do alone.


“The new 4D LABS will build on the university’s core strengths in material science,” said SFU president Michael Stevenson. “The facility will be a magnet for internationally renowned researchers who will engage in truly transformative research in this very important field.”


The funding comes from the B.C. Knowledge Development Fund, which provides capital funding for research equipment and facilities for public post-secondary institutions, teaching hospitals and affiliated non-profit agencies. The project also receives support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and private contributors.


To date, the provincial government has approved a total of 482 projects and more than $335 million in funding under the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund. This funding has leveraged $327 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and another $271 million from other non-provincial government sources, for a total investment in British Columbia’s research infrastructure of about $933 million.



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Paul Woolley

Communications Director

Ministry of Advanced Education

250 952-6508

250 213-1171 (cell)


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