National Research Council Canada-NRC

National Research Council Canada-NRC

June 01, 2006 13:15 ET

A Magnet for the Nation: NRC Houses Canada's Most Powerful Magnet

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - June 1, 2006) - Today, the Government of Canada in partnership with the University of Ottawa and the provinces of Quebec and Ontario officially opened the $15 million NRC W.G. Schneider Building. Named after nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) pioneer and former NRC President, Dr. Schneider, this unique building accommodates two NMR facilities - home to a critical mass of 5 spectrometers.

"These cutting edge facilities contribute to the Government of Canada's commitment to improve Canada's innovation performance and increase its ability to compete in the global marketplace," said Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orleans, who attended the event on behalf of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the NRC. "We feel it is important to foster scientific research in order to increase Canada's technological and industrial capacity".

The main attraction for Canadian scientists and industry is the multimillion dollar 900 MHz (21.1 Tesla) spectrometer, Canada's most powerful magnet. It will provide scientists with a new tool in their efforts to develop new battery composites, nano-materials for electronics, plastic polymers for vehicles, glasses for more sensitive sensors and faster computer processors, new materials for hydrogen storage, as well as health enhancing antibiotics.

"This new facility is a prime example of what can be achieved through collaboration." said NRC President Dr. Pierre Coulombe. "NRC believes that strategic partnerships like this one are key to building Canada's knowledge based economy."

Since 1959, magnetic resonance has evolved and led to the development of medical imaging and diagnosing equipment - Magnetic Resonance Imaging commonly known as the MRI. The partners recognize the importance of researching quantum physics and chemistry through spectroscopic measures in order to build upon the strengths of innovative materials. This characterization of new materials and elements will improve our understanding and creation of aeronautical composites for the aerospace industry as well as more selective antimicrobial therapies for more economical air travel and healthier lives.

"The National Ultra-high Field NMR Facility for Solids is the first of its kind in the world and will promote international interest and collaboration, increasing Canada's scientific prestige on the global stage," says University of Ottawa President Gilles Patry. "Our institution is committed to promoting the exciting interdisciplinary work of our researchers through partnerships like this one and we look forward to the benefits this facility will offer the uOttawa community."

This uniquely nationwide networked centre was made possible thanks to the support of its public and private partners including Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) funding, a co-development agreement with Bruker Biospin and the collaborative staffing expertise and management from the University of Ottawa and NRC.

About NRC:

Recognized globally for research and innovation, Canada's National Research Council (NRC) is a leader in the development of an innovative, knowledge-based economy for Canada through science and technology.

About University of Ottawa:

The University of Ottawa is one of Canada's principal comprehensive, research-intensive, postsecondary institutions. Its campus community totals more than 35,000 full-time students, faculty and staff living, working and studying in both of Canada's official languages in a thoroughly cosmopolitan milieu. We're proud to call ourselves "Canada's university."

About CFI:

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians.

About Bruker BioSpin:

Bruker BioSpin, a division of Bruker, is dedicated to designing, manufacturing and distributing life science tools based on magnetic resonance. Bruker, a world leader in the manufacture and development of scientific instrumentation was incorporated in Canada in October, 1970. The company grew dramatically in the late 1970's and early 1980's and now employs over 25 people in Canada including scientists, service engineers and administrative support teams who work closely with colleagues in the U.S., Germany and Switzerland.

For further information on the two facilities located at the Schneider building, please consult: and or contact:

Contact Information

  • National Research Council Canada
    Sarah Mangione
    Communications Advisor
    (613) 990-6091
    Cell: (613) 614-3188
    University of Ottawa
    Sophie Nadeau
    Media Relations Officer
    (613) 562-5800 ext 3137
    Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
    Minister of Industry
    Isabelle Fontaine
    (613) 995-9001