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Executive Summary

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TRIUMF is a publicly-funded, national laboratory with a basic research mission. Owned and operated as a joint venture by a consortium of Canadian universities, it provides a pool of talent, skills, and capabilities that no single university could maintain on its own.

The laboratory’s activities are framed within its Mission and Vision with a strategic plan developed every five years and subject to review, approval, and funding by the Government of Canada and other agencies.

TRIUMF’s many important achievements were enabled by public funding from the provincial and federal governments and through the judicious use of all available resources: financial, intellectual, and physical. Similarly, TRIUMF’s plans for the future are enabled by new funding and by continuing to build on the foundation of the current resources. The present resources are a culmination of more than $1 billion of public investments over the past 40 years coupled with the wisdom and experience of a highly trained staff. Taken together, these resources represent a formidable asset that can be deployed in key areas of Canada’s national agenda.


TRIUMF is Canada's largest basic science enterprise probing the fundamental structure and origins of matter. In Canada, TRIUMF is synonymous with advancing isotopes for science and medicine. Internationally, TRIUMF is known for its leadership in rare isotope science and particle physics. In schools and among students, TRIUMF is an inspiration, a career path, and a resource for learning and sharing. In business circles, TRIUMF is recognized for its advanced-accelerator technologies and production of medical isotopes. In academia, TRIUMF is known as the regional hub for Canadian university researchers in particle and nuclear physics and the platform to work globally.

In the last five years,TRIUMF has lived up to this reputation. Building Canada's scientific prominence throughout the world of subatomic physics, TRIUMF has emerged on the international stage as a leader. TRIUMF along with Canadian physicists are known for their contribution to the discovery of the Higgs boson, a particle that captured the imagination of over one billion people during the announcement on BBC. TRIUMF scientists received international attention for trapping antimatter.The laboratory is known globally for pursuing an alternative, innovative solution for producing the world's most-popular medical isotope (Tc-99m) with existing accelerators. TRIUMF's rare isotope program is among the best in the world, attracting hundreds of users to Vancouver each year. Over the last five years, two small Canadian firms, building on TRIUMF's accelerator technologies, have more than doubled their number of employees and floor space and have expanded their business internationally. TRIUMF is partnering with India and Japan to further technology developments and open new markets for Canadian companies. TRIUMF's 35-year partner company, Nordion, continues to touch the lives of millions of people each year with medical isotopes produced on small TRIUMF-designed, Canadian-manufactured cyclotrons in Vancouver.

The core investment in TRIUMF by the Government of Canada through a contribution via the National Research Council drives these results and leverages the resources and talents of Canada's world-class research universities. Eighteen of those universities together form the consortium that owns and operates the laboratory.

In the next five years,TRIUMF will begin its march towards major scientific discoveries with ARIEL, the new facility for ultra-cold neutrons shared with Japan, and with crucial support for Canada's engagements on the international stage of particle physics. TRIUMF will commercialize new technologies, stimulate and train science and engineering students, challenge engineers and technicians with the latest accelerator-associated technologies, and impact up to 5% of Canadian citizens with the accelerator produced medical isotope Tc-99m.

Five-Year Plan 2015–2020 seeks continued investment in TRIUMF and this vision. Optimal exploitation would require $290 million via the NRC Contribution Agreement combined with additional competitively awarded funds. This request takes into account opportunities to complete the ARIEL laboratory, fully operate facilities, address deferred maintenance, and relieve pressures on ten-year-old buying power.

We have established that past investments generate significant dividends. TRIUMF is strong and continually advancing; a coordinated investment will allow Canada to make major strides forward in creating knowledge, developing technology, attracting and training talent, and contributing to economic growth.