By Dillon Meilleur
In today’s world, renewable resources are limited. Economic security is a growing concern and toxic emissions are at an all-time high, but it’s not all despair. Alberta-based Ingenuity Lab is endeavouring to solve the global challenges that all of society faces. “The focus of Ingenuity Laboratory is to use advanced technology to solve some of the grand societal problems through technological innovation and deployment,” said the Director of Ingenuity Lab, Dr. Carlo Montemagno. By 2035 global energy needs will have increased by more than 35 percent. Ingenuity Lab has changed the energy industry by discovering a way to create renewable energy out of nothing more than waste. This experimental technology transforms otherwise useless industrial emissions (CO2) into valuable renewable resources.
Ingenuity Lab or the Nano-Accelerator as it was originally known is a provincially funded initiative dedicated to addressing society’s greatest challenges – particularly the environment, health and energy. The Government of Alberta wanted to invest in a mechanism that enabled economic diversification and improved prosperity for the province; Ingenuity Lab was the answer. The Province of Alberta allocated $100 million in funding for the Ingenuity Lab to bring the best and brightest minds together and address global concerns such as the environment, economic security, health care and energy. “Ingenuity Lab is the nucleus to new jobs and prosperity in Canada,” Dr. Montemagno said. Ingenuity Lab is continuously creating new valuable materials, while reducing the impact on the environment.
Working on pioneering initiatives
Ingenuity Lab is currently working on several efforts. These initiatives range from carbon sequestration to medical advances, including the purification of runoff and industrial wastewater; environmentally friendly mineral resource extraction; oral vaccinations; affordable, non-surgical cataract treatment and cleaning industrial emissions to both reduce the carbon footprint and create high value chemical products. This new technology and forward thinking could very well change the way the world looks at energy. Ingenuity Lab is truly creating something out of nothing; they’re producing economic prosperity out of waste.
One of the innovative efforts that Ingenuity Lab is currently working on is carbon sequestration. Through the science of nanotechnology, Ingenuity Lab has discovered a way to manipulate molecules at the smallest level. During carbon sequestering, carbon is extracted from captured industrial emissions and converted into valuable material. “Through nanotechnology we can turn energy waste into valuable chemical components and marketable products,” Dr. Montemagno explained.
The experts at Ingenuity Lab have managed to harness the photosynthetic process of plants, but at a higher rate of efficiency. This process allows Ingenuity Lab to create new products out of carbon sequestered from harmful emissions. This technology can eliminate the use of fossil fuels in the production of essential products such as plastic, rubber and other sustainable materials. Carbon is a component in nearly everything we use, from the plastic bottles we drink to the medicines we use. It’s a valuable compound with limitless uses.
The Power of “N”
The power of N is the true inspiration behind Ingenuity Lab. By combining nature, nanotechnology, and networks, they are creating a brighter future for Canada. Through nanotechnology scientists can control and manipulate matter to meet their specific needs and requirements. Ingenuity Lab harnessed these processes and used the science of nanotechnology to make them accessible for everyday applications. Dr. Montemagno said he’s inspired by nature to do things we never thought were possible. Ingenuity Lab has managed to capture the raw power of Mother Nature and transform it into something unprecedented.
Ingenuity Lab has put together a team of individuals from all walks of life. This ground-breaking initiative combines knowledge from many different areas of research, such as biology and nanoscience. Their team of dedicated experts are working towards one collective goal, solving global issues. Ingenuity Lab wants to share their research with the world and create a network where information is seamlessly passed between industries. This new technology is applicable in any market and will soon be a major player on a global scale. “Everyone talks about working outside the box, most of them only run to the corners. Very few people leave the box,” Dr. Montemagno said. At Ingenuity Lab, he and his dedicated team are working hard to provide innovative solutions to the world’s looming issues.
Future endeavours: a look ahead
Ingenuity Lab is a huge economic driver for not only the Province of Alberta, but for all of Canada. Ingenuity Lab also helps the global economy. “Every dollar generated from Alberta oil yields $8 more in the energy sector globally,” Dr. Montemagno said. Ingenuity Lab is currently partnered with the University of Alberta, the National Institute of Nanotechnology, the Province of Alberta and many other reputable organizations. However, they are always looking for new committed partners and in the near future Ingenuity Lab hopes to establish long-term strategic partnerships across a range of industries.
“I’m a firm believer that tomorrow can be better than yesterday,” Dr. Montemagno said. He and the Ingenuity Lab team are changing the world, one molecule at a time. Their pioneering discoveries create abundant possibilities for the future and Ingenuity Lab will not only strengthen the economy of Canada, but it will provide the country with sustainable solutions.