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Latest NRC Evaluation of TRIUMF now available

27 October 2023

TRIUMF is pleased to share the results of the ‘Evaluation of TRIUMF (2023-24)', a deep-dive analysis conducted by the National Research Council (NRC) that assessed TRIUMF’s scientific excellence, social and economic impact, relevance, capacity, competency, facilities and governance.  

The Evaluation leveraged a mixed-methods approach, including document and data reviews, user surveys, internal and external interviews, socio-economic impact assessments, a bibliometric study, and peer review with international experts. 

An excerpt of some of the key findings are below: 

  • Regarding the general level of scientific excellence, and the publication of scientific results, the Evaluation found that “TRIUMF publications have high regard in the international scientific community,” and that “Technology, technical and research expertise within TRIUMF rival that of large international labs in similar fields. TRIUMF has contributed to knowledge generation and experimentation that is on the leading edge of global scientific discovery.” 

  • TRIUMF's activities and partnerships in Canada have yielded substantial positive outcomes, economic benefits, and cost savings. Public investment in TRIUMF had a significant impact, increasing Canada's GDP by $489.7 million, which is 1.68 times the initial investment. Moreover, it boosted British Columbia's GDP by $447.5 million, representing a remarkable return of 9.34 times the investment. This impact stems from Canadian expenditures, with TRIUMF contributing $336.4 million and TRIUMF Innovations (TI) adding $6.8 million. Additionally, TRIUMF's contributions extend to healthcare improvements and cost savings through the in-Canada production of high-demand medical isotopes.

  • On the training of highly qualified personnel (HQP), the Evaluation notes that “TRIUMF provides highly specialized training, giving students skills for scientific employment and Canadian companies the competitive advantage of hiring expertise within Canada. Through Canadian university connections, TRIUMF offers programs to promote the growth and development of professional skills for students and post-doctoral fellows. The Evaluation also details that “TRIUMF provides important training to highly qualified students, both international and domestic, due to linkages to a network of universities and research facilities.” 

  • The Evaluation recognized that in May 2021, TRIUMF underwent significant changes in its governance and operational structure. It appointed a new executive director and CEO, reorganized into new divisions, and transitioned to an incorporated non-profit charity. The organization also established a skills-based Board of Governors (BoG) to enhance efficiency and clarify responsibilities. These governance changes aimed to align research and commercial activities, promote knowledge transfer to the market, and facilitate expansion of commercialization opportunities. TRIUMF also increased its financial reporting and meeting frequency, focusing on alignment and harmonization for improved accountability. Furthermore, it enhanced project management, administration, and communication practices, including the introduction of new tools and standards. 

  • In the area of recognition and funding success, the Evaluation found that “The amount of funding TRIUMF secures from major funding bodies, universities and governmental bodies points to its societal and global relevance, as well as to the value it is projected to provide to the global scientific community. 

You can read the full report including additional findings on the NRC’s website; you can review the summary report here. 

The Evaluation was carried out in accordance with the NRC's approved evaluation plan, the Treasury Board's Policy on Results (2016) and the requirements of the Financial Administration Act to assess the impact of public funding.