CANADIAN LIGHT SOURCE MAKING POSITIVE ECONOMIC, SCIENTIFIC IMPACTS FOR CANADA
The Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron is making a strong contribution to the national, provincial and local economy, and has a positive return on investment in terms of academic and industrial research and the training of the next generation of scientists. Highlights from the study of the economic impact of the CLS, conducted by Insightrix Research:
- CLS operations directly contributed almost $90 million to Canadian GDP during the study period: for every dollar of CLS operating funding our operations contributed three to the Canadian economy.
- CLS operating funds spent in Saskatchewan generated over $33 million in GDP for the province of Saskatchewan.
- Spending by our users visiting Saskatoon contributed close to $1 million to the local economy in 2010.
- 97 percent of academic respondents indicated that some part of their research depends on synchrotron data.
- Over 98 percent of respondents intend to return to the CLS to conduct further research, with expectations of increasing the amount of research time they request.
- Academic research done at the CLS in 2010 contributed to the publication of over 130 scientific articles to date, the training of 500 highly-qualified personnel (HQP, such as graduate students).
- Respondents among academic users estimated the commercial value of the research they did at the CLS during 2010 at $28 million, with an additional $2.5 million related to the training of students and post-docs. This includes the commercial value of new inventions of over $12 million, and new or improved products and processes at $15.5 million.
- During 2010 the CLS hosted 577 users during 1236 visits
- Of the 577 users who came to the CLS in 2010, 305 were first-time users
Research by industry:
- Two-thirds of our industrial clients use the CLS exclusively for their synchrotron-based research.
- Industrial research efforts focused on (in descending order): basic, precompetitive R&D; work in support of environmental and regulatory compliance (particularly in the mining industry); development of new products and product testing; and non-destructive testing.
- The value of projects to our clients’ business was $15 million from fiscal years 2009-2010 to 2010-2011.
Recent research highlights:
- Medical isotope production: Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) is a medical isotope used in 20 million diagnostic procedures annually. But the supply of Tc-99m is dependent on a handful of aging nuclear reactors using highly-enriched uranium; between reactor shutdowns and concerns of nuclear proliferation, new ways of producing Tc-99m are needed. Reacting to this urgent requirement, the CLS is leading the $10 million Canadian Medical Isotope Project with partners from the NRC, University of Ottawa Heart Institute, the University Health Network and NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes. The project aims to take reactors and uranium out of the isotope production equation, using high-energy X-rays from a linear accelerator to produce Tc-99m from molybdenum. Three machines similar to the prototype being built at the CLS could meet all of Canada’s demand for the medical isotope. Read more here.
- Shedding light on hereditary breast cancer: Over 23,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in Canada in 2011. A minority, but growing, number of cases will be classified as early onset breast cancer - an aggressive form of the disease that strikes women in their late twenties or early thirties. University of Alberta researcher Mark Glover and his research group are using the Canadian Light Source to unravel how changes in a gene called BRCA1 lead to breast cancer. The research could lead to better genetic tests to diagnose the condition and even treat the disease and other forms of cancer. Read more here.
- Mining and the environment: The question of whether or not a chemical in the environment is harmful is often hard to answer, particularly if the effects of that chemical vary depending on its chemical form - its speciation or oxidation state. Such is the case with selenium, an element that occurs naturally in varying concentrations, but has recently been observed to be on the increase in effluents from mining and milling operations. While not a serious concern for humans, fish and birds are known to be more sensitive to elevated concentrations of selenium. Researchers have teamed up with industry in an effort to look at how selenium accumulates in aquatic food chains downstream from mining operations, including analyses of selenium chemistry using the CLS. Read more here.
- Making graphene better: No two-dimensional material has piqued as much scientific interest as graphene, the subject of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics. Hailed as a miracle material, graphene is a molecular sheet composed of a single layer of carbon atoms. It is noted for its excellent electrical and thermal conductivity and its seemingly endless applications from ultrafast electronics to flexible solar panels. Subtle imperfections, however, can drastically mute graphene's prized properties. Dr. Sarbajit Banerjee and his research team at the University at Buffalo are using the CLS to hone in on graphene's topography, producing for the first time images of the folds and ripples in the electron cloud that surround the nanomaterial and affect its conductivity. This information is important to perfecting manufacturing processes to mass produce graphene. Read more here.
The Canadian Light Source is Canada’s national centre for synchrotron research and is a global leader and a recognized centre of excellence in synchrotron science and its applications. Located on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon, the CLS has hosted over 4,600 user visits from academic institutions, government, and industry, and delivered over 15,000 experimental shifts to users from across Canada and 18 countries since 2005. CLS operations are funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, National Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan. www.lightsource.ca/media/quickfacts.php.
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Canadian Light Source Inc
Ph: (306) 657-3739 Cell: (306) 227-0978