The idiom used to be – bigger is better. A local Alberta innovation company is proving that notion wrong. Nanalysis Corporation, headquartered in Calgary, manufactures portable Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometers. It used to be, in the not-so-distant past that devices like this would fill whole rooms and require a team of highly trained staff to operate and maintain the delicate and sophisticated equipment.
Not any more. Nanalysis Corporation manufactures a tabletop-sized spectrometer that is easy to operate and small enough to fit into any lab. So, what is an NMR spectrometer, anyway? If you’re looking for a complete understanding of the chemical components in a sample, the spectrometer will give you those answers. It helps scientists determine the complete molecular makeup of compounds within any item you’re examining. In addition to composition, it helps scientists test for purity, metabolic products, and reaction.
Thanks to the innovation of its co-founders Garett Leskowitz, Greg McFeeters, and Sean Krakiwsky, the world of NMR spectroscopy has never been so accessible. In 2009, Krakiwsky and company saw a need in the laboratory instrumentation market. Through a decade of perseverance they turned a large, bulky, and difficult to use scientific apparatus into a device that can sit on a bench, in any laboratory, operated by a single technician.
Nanalysis began ten years ago with three employees. Since then they’ve grown to 45 employees in their Calgary office. Along the way, they accessed support from Alberta Innovates through the Alberta Innovation Voucher programs, the Product Demonstration program, and the Commercialization Associate programs.
“Without the early assistance from Alberta Innovates, our path to commercialization would have been significantly more difficult,” says Bruce Lix, Director of Business Development for Nanalysis. “The coaching, advice, and capital investments – at the right times – allowed us to be where we are today.”
So, the next time you hear that good things come in small packages, you can think about how Nanalysis applied their innovation, hard work, and perseverance to prove that to be true.