SCIENTISTS AND POTENTIAL SUPPLIERS SHOW GROWING INTEREST IN SYNCHROTRON
Saskatoon, SK. - Two special events this week mark growing national interest in the Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron from both scientists and potential suppliers of goods and services for the $173.5-million U of S-owned national project.
Tomorrow more than 50 federal government scientists and other researchers will begin a three-day workshop at the National Research Council's (NRC) Plant Biotechnology Institute on campus. Yesterday, CLS partners held a procurement seminar for 250 business representatives at a downtown hotel.
Prominent U of S and American synchrotron scientists speaking at the NRC workshop will describe how synchrotron light can be used in leading-edge areas of biology ranging from studies of how proteins function to research into the structure of genes.
"We want to show our people what you can do with synchrotron radiation in the biological field generally," said Walter Davidson, NRC's co-ordinator of national facilities.
Scientists from the NRC's five biotechnology institutes across Canada will visit the CLS site and outline their long-term research needs, information which will help the CLS make plans concerning types of experiments to be conducted and allotment of access time to the facility.
When CLS Inc. -- a wholly owned U of S subsidiary -- starts operations in late 2003, the NRC will work with the U of S in managing the synchrotron as a national facility.
A synchrotron is a football field-sized machine that produces extremely bright light. By using powerful magnets and radio frequency waves to accelerate electrons to very high speeds and energies, matter can be "seen" at the atomic scale with unprecedented accuracy and precision. Researchers in industry and universities are finding a host of applications - from more absorbent diapers to the next generation of computer chips.
There was also excitement about the synchrotron this week from Western Canadian construction and equipment manufacturing firms.
The procurement seminar included a scientific overview and project update, as well as technical presentations on construction requirements, quality assurance, and synchrotron systems and components such as magnets, vacuum pumps, controls, computers and radio-frequency transmitters. The U of S's open bidding practices and synchrotron procurement processes were outlined.
"This seminar marks the beginning of a series of long-term opportunities for local and regional businesses to supply goods and services both directly to CLS Inc. and as sub-contractors to the anticipated multi-national companies," said CLS Interim Director Michael Bancroft.
He noted many business representatives made introductory appointments with CLS team members during the private afternoon sessions.
Other speakers included CLS project manager Barry Hawkins, U of S purchasing services director Gwen Toole, and Andy Melnyk, Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative Development's business development manager for advanced technology.
Construction on the CLS, which will incorporate the existing linear accelerator on campus, began in July.
The CLS is expected to attract more than 2,000 researchers per year once all beamlines (conduits for carrying synchrotron light to scientific workstations) are fully operational in 2008. Visits will range from a few days up to a few weeks.
- Note to editors:
For more information contact:
Research Communications Officer
University of Saskatchewan
PBI/NRC Senior Research Officer
Adjunct Professor, Microbiology & Immunology
University of Saskatchewan
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