Natural Resources Canada

Natural Resources Canada

June 22, 2012 10:15 ET

Minister Oliver Invites Proposals for New Medical Isotopes Innovation Program

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 22, 2012) - The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced a Request for Project Proposals to receive funding under a new $25-million program announced in Economic Action Plan 2012 to diversify sources for the supply of a key medical isotope.

"The Harper Government is investing in Canadian expertise to help ensure new sources of supply for medical isotopes used in diagnosing various diseases, such as cancer and heart disease," said Minister Oliver. "We are investing in the work needed to attract private sector interest and to bring new technologies to market, and to help ensure that isotope production is on a sound commercial footing."

Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) is the most widely used isotope for medical imaging and accounts for approximately 80 percent of nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures. The Isotope Technology Acceleration Program (ITAP) will support collaboration among academic, private and public sector partners to develop non-reactor-based technologies, particularly linear accelerators and cyclotrons, to produce a more diverse and reliable supply of Tc-99m in the medium to long term.

This investment will also allow Canada to remain a technology leader, supporting high-quality jobs at home and opening technology export opportunities while reducing the production of radioactive waste, which is a by-product of the current reactor-based production.

These investments are also aligned with Canada's commitment to nuclear security and non-proliferation by moving toward eliminating the need for highly enriched uranium in the production of medical isotopes.

For information about the Request for Project Proposals, please visit: www.isotopes.nrcan.gc.ca

The following media backgrounder is available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:

Isotope Technology Acceleration Program

Contact Information

  • Media may contact:
    Patricia Best
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    613-996-2007

    Media Relations
    Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
    613-992-4447

    General public may contact:
    Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EDT
    Telephone: 613-995-0947
    TTY: 613-996-4397 (teletype for the hearing-impaired)
    questions@nrcan.gc.ca