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CFI Invests $38.9 Million to Expand World-Renowned Underground Science Facility
|SUDBURY, December 1, 2003—Today, Dr. David Strangway, President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) was joined by Andy Mitchell, Secretary of State (Rural Development) (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario) on behalf of Allan Rock, Minister of Industry, to announce a $38.9 million investment towards the establishment of a new international facility for underground science in Canada.||
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The investment will transform the existing Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) into a lasting world-class research facility. When the original SNO project was conceived in 1984, it was set-up as a “sunset” project with a specific end date. Its outstanding success in the last two decades convinced the partners that the experiment should be transformed into a permanent facility.
“Supporting world-class research will lead to ground-breaking discoveries right here in Sudbury and across Canada, and will help ensure that Canada is one of the world’s most innovative countries,” said Industry Minister Allan Rock. “Canada’s researchers have made extraordinary contributions in science and innovation and this initiative will help ensure our country's continued leadership role in astrophysics.”
“Today’s announcement will enable significant breakthroughs by addressing critical questions in particle astrophysics such as the origin and evolution of the universe,” said Dr. Strangway. “Projects like these provide a real opportunity to build on Canada’s expertise in this field, and to build new partnerships with international researchers and facilities.”
SNOLAB will conduct experiments that build on the success of the original SNO project. The CFI’s investment will cover the cost of excavation of a new underground experimental cavern, surface support, new labs at Laurentian University, experimental equipment as well as operational support for the next five years.
“This CFI investment recognizes the outstanding contribution of researchers whose work will be of direct benefit to Canadians and others around the world,” said Dr. Rey Pagtakhan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State (Science, Research and Development). “This strategic investment in research will help to make Canada one of the top five countries in research and development performance by 2010.”
This project will bring together a consortium of researchers from six Canadian universities. The administrative centre will be located at Carleton University where the project leader, Dr. David Sinclair, is a Professor of Physics (College of Natural Sciences at Carleton University).
"This collaborative international project being undertaken here in Canada confirms our reputation as a strong competitor in the commercialization of knowledge, and the promotion of research and development," said Secretary of State Mitchell. "FedNor provided a $95,000 investment in April 2002 that allowed SNO to prepare a detailed, professional proposal to the Canada Foundation for Innovation, which, in turn, has led to today's announcement."
In July 2003, FedNor provided an additional $500,000 to help SNO expand its existing underground and surface facilities. This represents Phase I of the multi-million dollar project to create the new International Facility for Underground Science.
This announcement is the sixth of nine large-scale international research projects being funded under the CFI’s two International Funds—the International Joint Ventures Fund and the International Access Fund. The International Joint Ventures Fund, which includes projects such as SNOLAB, supports the establishment of a small number of very high profile research infrastructure projects in Canada to take advantage of extraordinary research opportunities with leading facilities in other countries that will bring significant benefits to Canada.
The CFI is an independent corporation established by the Government of Canada in 1997 to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and other non-profit research organizations to carry out world-class research and technology development.
For more information:
Coordinator, Media Relations
Canada Foundation for Innovation
cell: (613) 447-1723
Office of Allan Rock
Minister of Industry
Office of Dr. Rey Pagtakhan
Minister of Veterans Affairs and Secretary of State
(Science, Research & Development)
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Secretary of State
(Rural Development) (FedNor)