News

For Immediate Release - 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12th/2003

$11.4-M Saskatchewan Structural Sciences Centre Opens at U of S

Today the $11.4-million Saskatchewan Structural Sciences Centre (SSSC) at the University of Saskatchewan was officially opened -- a centre that will complement work done at the Canadian Light Source (CLS) synchrotron and drive ground-breaking research in Western Canada.

The SSSC was established with $3.7 million from the Canada/Saskatchewan Western Economic Partnership Agreement, $3.4 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), $2.8 million from the U of S and $1.5 million from the Saskatchewan government's Innovation and Science Fund.

Located in the Thorvaldson Building annex just a few minutes walk from the CLS (www.lightsource.ca), the SSSC has state-of-the-art equipment for probing the structure of matter, work that can help scientists track environmental toxins, build semiconductors, create new plastics, and develop new drugs to fight cancer and heart attack.

With its new lasers, microscopes and X-ray equipment, the SSSC will advance research in areas such as agricultural biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, materials science, environmental sciences, health sciences, and mining. It will also provide much-needed research services for industry. Synchrotron scientists will be able to do preliminary and follow-up research for their CLS experiments at the SSSC.

"This centre is going to be a major player in Saskatchewan's rapidly developing research hub," said Minister Ralph Goodale, on behalf of Secretary of State Stephen Owen (Western Economic Diversification) (Indian Affairs and Northern Development). "The Government of Canada invests in innovative research to help stimulate the West's knowledge economy by attracting researchers and private sector investment."

"This centre builds on our investment in the synchrotron and helps our researchers and industry develop better products," said Eric Cline, Minister of Saskatchewan Industry and Resources. "Building on our province's science infrastructure will ensure a wide open future for our knowledge-based workers and industries. Investment in infrastructure at the University of Saskatchewan has been a high priority of the government of Saskatchewan in recent years."

"Today's opening of the SSSC is a prime example of what is possible when people and organizations from a variety of backgrounds all come together with a shared goal for research and innovation," said David Strangway, CFI President and CEO. "The CFI is proud to be an integral part of this project and by supporting infrastructure for research and development, the CFI is helping to increase the capability of the SSSC to carry out leading-edge research, which will lead to beneficial results for the Province of Saskatchewan and to all Canadians."

"This tremendous new centre -unique in the Prairie provinces - is the latest addition to our campus's world-class cluster of research facilities that are drawing some of the best scientists in the world to Saskatoon," U of S President Peter MacKinnon. "The presence of this new centre has already helped us attract Canada Research Chairs and will provide extraordinary opportunities to develop our strengths in the physical and life sciences, which in turn will help build and diversify Saskatchewan's economy."

More than 40 faculty members as well as 200 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows will conduct research at the new facility. The centre will also serve and train scientists from universities, government labs and the private sector across Western Canada."

The combined research activity taking place at the CLS and the SSSC is expected to attract companies to Saskatoon and encourage them to locate offices and labs here. The opportunity to access the centre's state-of-the-art research tools will be a major draw for both small and large companies.

The centre will also work closely with government research organizations including the National Research Council's Plant Biotechnology Institute, the Saskatchewan Research Council, and the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Saskatoon Research Centre.

Ron Steer, head of chemistry, has played a leading role in establishing the new centre. Bruce Waygood, University Co-ordinator of Health Research, will serve as acting director while a search is underway for a director. Ramaswami Sammynaiken is the manager of the four-member member staff.

For more information about the SSSC, visit www.usask.ca/sssc For more information, contact:


Kathryn Warden
U of S Research Communications Officer
(306) 966-2506
kathryn.warden@usask.ca
www.usask.ca/research


Joanne Mysak
Manager, Consultations Marketing and Communications
Western Economic Diversification Canada
(306) 975-5942
Toll-free: 1-888-338-9378
WD Web site: www.wd.gc.ca


Valérie Poulin
Canada Foundation for Innovation
(613) 996-3160


Janet Peters
Saskatchewan Industry and Resources
(306) 787-7840


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