Nuclear Innovation Networks
Expected Result: Canadian Science and Technology communities advance their innovation agendas through access to federal nuclear innovation infrastructure and expertise.
AECL maintains a suite of critical national science facilities that support the diverse innovation needs within Canada's nuclear and radiation S&T community that comprises industries, universities, research hospitals, and government laboratories, including AECL Nuclear Laboratories. The Nuclear Innovation Networks Program connects the capabilities at the Nuclear Laboratories to members of this community to pursue a spectrum of scientific goals from clean energy to cancer research to nuclear security. The Program provides both a mechanism for increasing the return on investments that have been made in the scientific facilities, programs, and personnel at AECL; and a mechanism to enable AECL to access alternative funding streams, thereby leading to a reduced requirement for direct federal funding for AECL projects.
The Program Activity consists of three sub-activities described briefly below:
- NRC Canadian Neutron Beam Centre (CNBC) enables the NRC to operate the CNBC at Chalk River Laboratories by providing supporting infrastructure and programs. The CNBC operates a user access program enabling over 200 scientists, engineers, and students from universities, government labs, and industry to participate in research using the six neutron beam lines. The CNBC is unique in Canada and provides Canadian scientists with the ability to research the molecular structure of materials as diverse as metals, minerals, plastics and bio-materials.
- Nuclear Innovation Partnerships actively builds awareness and enables access to AECL's unique expertise and capabilities (beyond the NRC-CNBC), and provides a mechanism for external stakeholders to engage in collaborative research opportunities with AECL.
- Nuclear Workforce of the Future, a new activity that began during 2011-12, supports the development of Canada's highly qualified workforce through programs that provide training and experience to Canadians interested in entering the Nuclear Workforce.