University of Saskatchewan

September 18, 2014   

Canadian Light Source Making Positive Economic, Scientific Impacts for Canada

A scientist observes a sample for analysis at the Canadian Light Source. Photo: CLS Inc.
November 24, 2011

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN - The Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron is making a strong contribution to the national, provincial and local economy, and has a positive return on investment in terms of academic and industrial research and the training of the next generation of scientists. These are some of the findings of an economic impact study conducted by Insightrix Research Inc. for the CLS.

“We are very pleased with what the study found as it clearly demonstrates that we are contributing to the advancement of Canadian science, the innovation of industry in Canada and abroad, as well as the training of our country’s future researchers and technologists,” says Josef Hormes, Executive Director of the CLS. “The data indicate that we are on the right track as we complete the transition into a mature synchrotron facility.”

“It is apparent that the contribution of the CLS to the Canadian economy extends beyond economic impact data with the potential for a large impact in the years to come,” says Larry Goodfellow, partner with Insightrix Research who conducted the study. “Although many respondents felt that it was still too early to completely measure results, those that we have seen are very positive.”

The study, conducted between June and August, consisted of surveys and in-depth interviews of the synchrotron’s academic and government users and industrial clients. It focused on the research activities of academic users during the 2010 calendar year and industrial clients during fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11.

Key findings include:

  • CLS operations directly contributed almost $90 million to Canadian GDP during the study period: for every dollar of CLS operating funding our operations contributed three to the Canadian economy.
  • CLS operating funds spent in Saskatchewan generated over $33 million in GDP for the province of Saskatchewan.
  • Spending by our users visiting Saskatoon contributed close to $1 million to the local economy in 2010.
  • Academic research done at the CLS in 2010 contributed to the publication of over 130 scientific articles to date, the training of 500 highly-qualified personnel (HQP, such as graduate students).
  • Respondents among academic users estimated the commercial value of the research they did at the CLS during 2010 at $28 million, with an additional $2.5 million related to the training of students and post-docs. This includes the commercial value of new inventions of over $12 million, and new or improved products and processes at $15.5 million.
  • 97 percent of academic respondents indicated that some part of their research depends on synchrotron data.
  • Over 98 percent of the researchers surveyed intend to return to the CLS to do future research.
  • Clients who responded to the survey reported the value of the research projects conducted for their businesses at close to $15 million from fiscal years 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.


The Canadian Light Source is Canada’s national centre for synchrotron research and is a global leader and a recognized centre of excellence in synchrotron science and its applications. Located on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon, the CLS has hosted over 4,600 user visits from academic institutions, government, and industry, and delivered over 15,000 experimental shifts to users from across Canada and 18 countries since 2005. CLS operations are funded by Western Economic Diversification Canada, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, National Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan.

Note to editors: A backgrounder with additional findings and highlights is available at

For more information contact:

Matthew Dalzell, M.Sc.
Communications Coordinator
Staff Writer
Canadian Light Source Inc.
National Synchrotron Facility
PH: (306) 657-3739 CELL: (306) 227-0978

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