CNL, AECL and the University of Ottawa to collaborate

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology laboratory, is pleased to announce that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), Canada’s nuclear Crown Corporation, and the University of Ottawa to identify and pursue collaborative research opportunities.

Building on decades of work together, the MOU formalizes what has been a longstanding relationship between the organizations in order to facilitate joint research projects, foster the professional development of highly qualified personnel, and encourage shared access to specialized infrastructure, all to advance research in health and environmental sciences, clean energy and nuclear safety.

Among the many promising areas of research identified within the agreement are studies related to radiobiology, epigenetics, environmental impacts on natural systems, cybersecurity, and hydrogen production, storage and safety, to name just a few. Together, the three organizations hope that the MOU will help cultivate closer relationships between their respective researchers, enable knowledge mobilization, spur innovation and the development of intellectual property, and advance solutions to address both national and industry challenges.

“Alongside CNL, AECL is incredibly excited to enter into this agreement with the University of Ottawa, an organization who shares our passion for research, innovation and entrepreneurship,” commented Amy Gottschling, Vice-President, Science, Technology & Commercial Oversight, AECL. “As Canada’s national nuclear laboratory, one of our core objectives is to work with the academic community to advance Canadian science and technology and turn research into reality. This objective is at the heart of this agreement with the University of Ottawa, and we are confident that our work will yield results that offer real, meaningful benefits for Canadians.”

“The University of Ottawa is a key partner in supporting CNL and AECL as they apply their strengths in nuclear science and technology to tackle some of greatest challenges our world is facing,” said uOttawa Vice-President, Research and Innovation Sylvain Charbonneau. “We share their determination to be agile and to seize every opportunity to continually push back the frontiers of research and development.”

The agreement with the University of Ottawa builds on what has been a long and productive relationship between the organizations that dates back decades, and which represents an important first step in CNL’s efforts to foster closer ties with Canada’s academic community. Beginning with AECL, and now with CNL, dozens of joint projects have been conducted in partnership with the University of Ottawa representing millions of dollars of research, including studies that have examined the biological effects of radiation, as well as studies related to environmental analysis, nuclear engineering, and hydrogen energy, among others. Looking to the future, the MOU is designed to establish a closer and more consistent relationship between the organizations, including ongoing engagements between researchers to identify and explore potential collaboration opportunities.

This new agreement also aligns with CNL’s new corporate strategy, Vision 2030, which was launched earlier this year, and which identifies what CNL views as its central role within the future Canadian nuclear landscape. Serving as a national resource to all levels of government, the nuclear industry, the broader private sector and the academic community, CNL aims to work in concert with other organizations to help advance innovative Canadian products and services towards deployment, including carbon-free energy, cancer treatments and other therapies, non-proliferation technologies and waste management solutions.

“While we have always maintained strong relationships with the academic community, it is a growing organizational priority for CNL to establish closer relationships with leading academic institutions like the University of Ottawa as part of our new vision,” commented Dr. Jeff Griffin, CNL’s Vice-President of Science and Technology. “Over the past few years, we saw first-hand how valuable collaborative research is to this country, as Canada’s science and technology community mobilized to reduce the worst impacts of the pandemic. Given the enormous challenges we face as a country, it benefits everyone to share resources and work together towards common goals. What’s more, we need to help foster the future researchers, engineers, and multitude of other professionals who will continue to advance this critical work.”

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