With almost $10 million provided from the province’s BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF), the University of Victoria (UVic) will embark on six new research projects, including outfitting a new research facility at Vancouver-based TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics and accelerator-based science.
UVic is the lead research institution for TRIUMF’s Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory (ARIEL), and is joined by Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, the University of Northern British Columbia, and 15 other universities spread across Canada.
The B.C. government’s $8.7 million contribution to ARIEL will support multidisciplinary, world-class research to advance fundamental understanding of the world in which we live. By enabling discoveries about the properties of rare isotopes, these new insights can be harnessed into a wide range of real life applications, from medicine, to life sciences, to industrial manufacturing.
For example, this new funding paves the way to further understandings and innovations relating to medical isotopes, safe radioactive substances used to diagnose and treat illness. When complete, ARIEL will produce new isotopes for diagnosing and treating cancers, heart disease, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It will also enable research and industrial applications of advanced materials, with applications ranging from clean tech to superconductivity and quantum materials.
The centrepiece of ARIEL is Canada’s first high-power, superconducting radio-frequency (SRF) electron linear accelerator, used for the production of unique radioactive beams. TRIUMF has worked closely with industry to develop this capability and successfully transferred this technology to the private sector. This established Canada as one of only six countries in the world with this industrial capacity.
This is the second round of provincial funding for ARIEL. In 2010, the Province awarded TRIUMF $30.7 million for the construction of ARIEL and the SRF electron linear accelerator, which is one of the world’s most powerful. The current funding will build on that base, enabling ARIEL to produce a greater variety of isotope reactions and ultimately triple TRIUMF’s isotope production capacity.
Since April 2015, the B.C. government has invested more than $57 million in public post-secondary institutions to undertake 83 research projects. BCKDF investments are aimed at attracting and retaining world-class research and innovation talent in B.C. Projects funded by the BCKDF have the potential to spur technology commercialization, talent development, and job creation.
BCKDF funding is part of the #BCTECH Strategy, a key component of the BC Jobs Plan to support the growth of B.C.’s vibrant technology sector and strengthen British Columbia’s diverse innovation economy. The multi-year strategy includes a $100-million BC Tech Fund and initiatives to increase talent development and market access for tech companies that will drive innovation and productivity throughout the province.
Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services –
“Researchers at TRIUMF are pushing the boundaries of physics, and I am delighted the Province can support this work through state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Canada’s top innovators are helping to shape medical care of the future, add highly-skilled jobs to our workforce, and create commercialization opportunities – all fundamental parts of our #BCTECH Strategy.”
Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Advanced Education –
“British Columbia is home to research universities that are national leaders in innovation. The ground-breaking work at TRIUMF underscores efforts by the B.C. government to attract and retain the brightest minds to this province, changing lives around the world from right here in B.C.”
Terry Lake, Minister of Health –
“Advances in healthcare and medical technology are growing at unprecedented rates, and the work that will come out of TRIUMF’s research will have a tangible impact on the way in which we care for the people of B.C. Provincial investments in this research are strengthening B.C.’s competitiveness in health technology, and helping to train the next generation of our highly-skilled workforce.”
Johnathan Bagger, director of TRIUMF –
“TRIUMF is a true Canadian asset, located right here in B.C. I am pleased that this provincial funding is unleashing such a breadth of activity. From nuclear physics to medicine, ARIEL is an incredible endeavour that is uniting public and private partners in a shared quest for discovery and innovation. It will benefit science, society, and business, in B.C. and beyond.”
Jamie Cassels, president of the University of Victoria –
“This research funding will unlock a whole new realm of possibility, not only for the University of Victoria, but for the world of science. British Columbia’s TRIUMF laboratory is one of the few sites in the world that has the capacity to work in this highly-skilled sector, and we are excited to see how this innovative work changes lives.”
- Since 2001, over 1,100 projects have received BCKDF funding awards for a total government investment of over $610 million in research and innovation in B.C.
- This has generated an additional $1.1 billion in research funding from other sources.
- That’s more than $1.7 billion in funding for research and innovation in B.C.
#BCTECH Strategy: http://bctechstrategy.gov.bc.ca/
University of Victoria: http://www.uvic.ca/
A backgrounder follows with details on the five other research projects that UVic is undertaking.