ARCHIVED - Government of Canada Investments Contribute to a New Medical Isotope Production Facility in Alberta

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July 2, 2013

EDMONTON — The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, Minister for the Status of Women and Minister Responsible for Western Economic Diversification, and David Anderson, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Cypress Hills, today celebrated the grand opening of the University of Alberta’s new Medical Isotope and Cyclotron Facility. 

Minister Ambrose and Parliamentary Secretary Anderson highlighted the Government of Canada’s support for the University of Alberta’s work to advance alternative production of the key medical isotope technetium-99m (Tc-99m).

The Government of Canada is providing funding of $7 million to the University of Alberta through the Isotope Technology Acceleration Program (ITAP). This funding is being used by a team of researchers across Canada to develop and demonstrate commercial cyclotron production of Tc-99m for medical imaging.

“I am so pleased to celebrate the grand opening of the University of Alberta’s new Medical Isotope and Cyclotron Facility,” said Minister Ambrose. “This new facility will further create new opportunities for world-class researchers here in Alberta and high-quality jobs through innovation.”

“Our government is supporting collaboration among academic, private and public sector partners in the work needed to attract private sector interest and to help ensure that isotope production is reliable and on a sound commercial footing,” said Mr. Anderson. “This will build upon Canada’s expertise in medical isotopes production and could lead to new opportunities for Canadian businesses, in both domestic and international markets.”  

The ITAP is a four-year, $25-million program investing in Canadian innovation to improve the security of supply of medical isotopes for Canadians, reduce radioactive waste and meet nuclear non-proliferation goals through isotope production using cyclotron and linear accelerator technologies. In addition to the project at the University of Alberta, ITAP is also funding projects led by TRIUMF in British Columbia and the Prairie Isotope Production Enterprise in Manitoba.

This initiative builds upon the federal government’s previous investment of $3 million, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, towards the purchase and installation of state-of-the-art cyclotron equipment at the University of Alberta.

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