Synchrotron teams up with national not-for-profit to foster innovation

SASKATOON - The Canadian Light Source synchrotron has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mitacs, a national, not-for-profit organization that brings together academia, industry and the public sector, to develop cutting edge tools and technologies vital to Canada’s knowledge-based economy.

“We hope that this partnership will facilitate access to synchrotron research capacity for industry-academic collaborations,” said Jeff Cutler, CLS Director of Industrial Science. “We believe we can make valuable contributions to innovative research projects.”

The agreement will strengthen ties between the two entities, and will focus on jointly developing Mitacs projects and calls for proposals that generate research development and commercialization projects.

“This partnership between Mitacs and Canadian Light Source will bring the latest in academic knowledge and techniques to synchrotron science, helping solve complex research challenges,” said Duncan Phillips, Vice President, Strategic Enterprises, Mitacs.

“Through this collaboration, researchers will have the opportunity to work on projects that have the potential to grow Canadian companies, especially Western Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses along with locally-based multi-nationals.”

Several Mitacs programs will be used to foster the partnership including Mitacs Converge.  A pilot program, Converge aims to increase the innovation output of Canadian small and medium enterprises and multi-national sponsor companies. The program links multi-nationals with expert researchers at Canadian universities and provides matching funding and support towards subsequent research, development and commercialization projects.

Mitacs Vice President, Strategic Enterprises, Duncan Phillips (left) and CLS Director of Industrial Science Jeff Cutler sign an MOU that will increase innovation and commercialization projects across Canada.
This photo and many others are available for use under a Creative Commons licence in the CLS Flickr Gallery

About Mitacs:

Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that develops the next generation of innovators with vital skills through a suite of unique research and training programs: Mitacs Accelerate, Elevate, Step, and Globalink. In partnership with companies, government and universities, Mitacs is supporting a new economy using Canada’s most valuable resource — its people.

Visit the Mitacs website for more information.

About the CLS:

The Canadian Light Source is Canada’s national centre for synchrotron research and a global centre of excellence in synchrotron science and its applications. Located on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon, the CLS has hosted 1,700 researchers from academic institutions, government, and industry from 10 provinces and territories; delivered over 26,000 experimental shifts; received over 6,600 user visits; and provided a scientific service critical in over 1,000 scientific publications, since beginning operations in 2005.

CLS operations are funded by Canada Foundation for Innovation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Western Economic Diversification Canada, National Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan.

Synchrotrons work by accelerating electrons in a tube to nearly the speed of light using powerful magnets and radio frequency waves. By manipulating the electrons, scientists can select different forms of very bright light using a spectrum of X-ray, infrared, and ultraviolet light to conduct experiments.

Synchrotrons are used to probe the structure of matter and analyze a host of physical, chemical, geological and biological processes. Information obtained by scientists can be used to help design new drugs, examine the structure of surfaces in order to develop more effective motor oils, build more powerful computer chips, develop new materials for safer medical implants, and help clean up mining wastes, to name a few applications.

For more information visit the CLS website 
For photos to accompany this story and more images from the CLS visit our Flickr gallery

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