Innovation Snapshot
Location:Calgary, Alberta

It used to be, in the not-so-distant past, that devices like spectrometers would fill whole rooms and require a team of highly trained staff to operate and maintain. But not anymore. Calgary-based Nanalysis manufactures a tabletop-sized version that’s easy to operate and small enough to fit into any lab.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectrometers are devices that help researchers understand the complete molecular makeup of any compound they’re examining. In addition, it helps them test for purity, metabolic products, and reaction.

In 2009, Nanalysis’s co-founders begun working on a need they had identified in the laboratory instrumentation market: existing technology was too unwieldy and required too many operators. They were joined in 2012 by Susanne Riegel, a previous recipient of the Alberta Innovates Graduate Student Scholarship, who leveraged her understanding of complex, multinuclear NMR spectroscopy to develop suitable value propositions for a wide variety of industries, helping Nanalysis grow.

Through a decade of perseverance, the Nanalysis team has 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.

The company began over a decade ago with three employees. They’re now publicly listed and employ more than 70 people. Along the way, they accessed support from Alberta Innovates through the Alberta Innovation Voucher program, the Product Demonstration program, and the Commercialization Associate program.

“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.”