Alberta Bio Future

CNC Challenge 3.0

The CNC Challenge series serves as a pipeline for the development of applications for cellulose nanocrystals (CNC). It supports early-stage work to demonstrate technical feasibility of CNC in high-value applications with potential for commercialization.

CNC Challenge 3.0 is closed to new funding applications, and applications are under review.

About CNC

Alberta has one of the few pilot plants in the world capable of producing high-quality CNC in kilogram volumes. The plant is located on the premises of Alberta Innovates’ applied research subsidiary, InnoTech Alberta, in south Edmonton.

CNC consists of nano-scale crystals made from cellulose (plant fibre), the most abundant polymer on earth.

This advanced biomaterial is:

  • Biodegradable
  • Non-toxic
  • Extremely strong
  • Has other unique properties that offer exciting opportunities for a wide range of applications

Current leading-edge research in Alberta includes applications in the fields of energy, health, industrial coatings, electronics and the environment.

About this program

CNC Challenge 3.0 is a joint funding program offered by Alberta Innovates in partnership with Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. It follows two earlier programs, CNC Challenge 1.0 and CNC Challenge 2.0.

Successful applicants will receive:

  • Up to $25,000 in funding for their CNC project research.
  • Up to one kilogram of CNC from the InnoTech Alberta pilot plant.
  • Access to InnoTech Alberta researchers, capacity and facilities.

Successful projects have the potential for ongoing support toward commercialization.

Who was eligible to apply?

  • Researchers at Canadian institutions, companies or other organizations.
  • Projects must be completed within one year.

Download Program Guidelines for CNC Challenge 3.0 to find out more.

Program Contact Information

Name: Steve Price 
Title: Executive Director, Bioindustrial Innovation
Phone: 780-450-5570

Name: Christine Murray, PhD
Director, Agricultural Technologies

Name: Gordon Giles 
Title: Director, Forestry
Phone: 780-450-5411