University of Saskatchewan

September 19, 2014   


March 31, 1999

SASKATOON, Saskatchewan – The CANADA FOUNDATION FOR INNOVATION (CFI) has approved a $56.4 million contribution to build the Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron project at the University of Saskatchewan. The decision gives the green light to the $173.5 million national facility, the largest scientific project ever to be built in Canada.

Today CFI President David Strangway announced the critical funding component for the CLS at a joint news conference on campus with Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow, Natural Resources Canada Minister Ralph Goodale, Industry Canada Minister John Manley, Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative Development Minister Janice MacKinnon, Saskatoon Mayor Henry Dayday and U of S President George Ivany.

The CLS represents an unprecedented level of collaboration among governments, universities and industry in Canada. The project marks the first federal-provincial-civic partnership with a university to build a major research project in Canada. Eighteen universities, in addition to the U of S, have endorsed the project.

The CLS will be built around the existing Saskatchewan Accelerator Laboratory (SAL) on the U of S campus. The state-of-the-art facility is expected to begin operation in 2003.

Construction of the project is expected to create 500 jobs per year over four years. About 200 scientists, technicians and operations staff, including 60 SAL staff members, are expected to be employed at the facility when it is fully operational in 2008. An independent study has estimated the CLS could attract $35 million annually in commercial research and development spending.

CFI President David Strangway:

"The Canada Foundation for Innovation is pleased to be a major funding partner in this project," President Strangway said. "By announcing our contribution of $56.4 million, we are marking a new era for scientific research in Canada. The success of this project can only be made possible thanks to an extraordinary level of commitment and co-operation between the University of Saskatchewan and its partners from the public and private sectors. As a result, researchers will be able to undertake projects that will have a profound impact on many aspects in the lives of Canadians."

Premier Roy Romanow:

"It was clear from the outset that a project of this magnitude could only be realized through a partnership of universities, industry, the scientific community, various levels of government and many other groups," said Premier Romanow. "Because of their co-operation, hard work and dedication, Saskatchewan will have a wonderful new facility to enhance our province's reputation for innovation."

Natural Resources Canada Minister Ralph Goodale:

“Western Economic Diversification’s contributions of both financial and human resources to further the CLS application process demonstrates its commitment to diversifying the western Canadian economy through innovation and technology,” said Minister Goodale. “This is one of its most significant projects in terms of providing highly-skilled employment opportunities, building a pool of talented young researchers, strengthening our knowledge base and adding millions into the provincial economy.”

Industry Canada Minister John Manley:

“I want to thank all of the members of the Canadian Light Source Collaborative Committee, and especially its chair, Bernard Michel, for their hard work, cooperation and dedication in overseeing the successful application and design process,” said Minister Manley. “This project, which enables Canadian scientists to conduct world-class research at home, clearly illustrates how various levels of government, government agencies and the private sector can put aside differences to work together on a major project that benefits our scientific community, many of our industrial and economic sectors and Canadian residents.”

Economic and Co-operative Development Minister Janice MacKinnon:

“The Canadian Light Source project will make Saskatoon and Saskatchewan major players in the international research arena,” Minister MacKinnon said. “This national facility will attract research projects from across the country and around the world. The CLS will build on the strength of the University of Saskatchewan, attract and train bright researchers and ultimately result in a broadening of our economic base and industry jobs through the application of the research done here.”

Saskatoon Mayor Henry Dayday:

"The city's $2.4-million investment will help create hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity for Saskatoon," Mayor Henry Dayday said. "With this announcement, Saskatoon's reputation as a national leader in research and development in high-tech and bio-tech industries will continue well into the next millennium."

U of S President George Ivany:

"The CLS is an enormous boost to the research capability of Canada, with incredible possibilities for this and other universities across the country," said President Ivany. "We'll be able to train students in many areas of cutting-edge research, retain the expertise of SAL researchers, and attract top scientists and students from around the world. The co-operation we've had from 18 universities across Canada and the hard work from all levels of government makes this a community effort in the broadest sense."

The CLS will be owned and operated by the U of S for the various stakeholders. With an advisory board having representation from various funding partners, the management structure will emphasize the facility's unique national character and its focus on serving users. The National Research Council (NRC) will work with the U of S in managing the CLS as a national facility.

Total value of the CLS project is $173.5 million -- a $140.9-million cash portion and $32.6 million in 'in-kind' contributions which includes the SAL and three University of Western Ontario beamlines (scientific work stations) which are to be moved from a facility in Madison, Wisconsin.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation, funded by the Government of Canada, is providing 40 per cent of the $140.9 million in capital costs; other federal departments are contributing another 20 per cent, or $28.3 million. The Government of Saskatchewan will contribute $25 million, the U of S $7.3 million, the City of Saskatoon $2.4 million, SaskPower Corp. $2 million and the Universities of Alberta and Western Ontario $300,000 each. As well, $19 million will flow from other provinces, universities and industry to build beamlines.

The Government of Canada is committed to providing a significant portion of the $13.9 million (or about 55 per cent) in annual operating costs (1998 dollars) through agencies such as the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the NRC, and the Medical Research Council. Remaining operating costs will be covered by user fees, the U of S and other sources as required.

Preparatory design work by the SAL staff is almost complete. Tenders will be sent out for construction work in the coming weeks.

The nation’s scientific community and industry sector will now be able to compete on an international level at home. Canada will receive the benefits of both the commercial applications of the research and the economic spin-offs.

Synchrotron light is generated by using strong magnets to accelerate electrons which are travelling near the speed of light. Millions of times brighter than medical X-rays, synchrotron light has a well-defined, pulsed beam that can be used in basic and industrial research. Applications include research in materials science, environmental science, engineering, pharmaceuticals, medical diagnosis and treatment, and biotechnology.


For more information, please contact:

Joanne Mysak
Manager, Consultations, Marketing and Communications
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
(306) 975-5942
WD Toll-Free No.: 1-888-338-WEST (9378)
WD World Wide Web site:
English - French -

Greg Leake
Director, Marketing and Corporate Affairs
Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative Development
Regina, Saskatchewan
(306) 787-1691

Kathryn Warden
Research Communications Officer
Office of the Vice-President Research
University of Saskatchewan
(306) 966-2506
U of S Research Web Site

Chris Dekker
Communications Manager
City of Saskatoon
(306) 975-3207

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