BC Ministers Take a Close Look

Minister VisitOn February 7, 2014, the Honourable Amrik Virk, BC Minister of Advanced Education, and the Honourable Andrew Wilkinson, BC Minister of Technology, Innovation, and Citizens’ Services, visited TRIUMF to meet with members of the TRIUMF and AAPS Inc. leadership team and to tour the laboratory–including the newly constructed ARIEL building, funded primarily by the Province of British Columbia.

Ministers Wilkinson and Virk were guided through the existing facilities that have established TRIUMF as a leading institution for scientific innovation and discovery. They also spent time learning about the progress underway at ARIEL (the Advanced Rare-Isotope Laboratory), TRIUMF’s flagship facility that will expand Canada’s capabilities to produce and study isotopes for science and medicine.

Utilizing next-generation technology, ARIEL will showcase a Made-in-Canada, high-power superconducting electron accelerator that will enable TRIUMF to triple its capabilities for producing beams of rare isotopes and greatly expand the range of isotopes produced. These isotopes will be used to study the nature of stars, where the elements come from, and how complex patterns arise from relatively simple building blocks.

The Ministers heard how BC-based companies, like ACSI Inc. and PAVAC Industries, are working with TRIUMF to deliver solutions while generating local economic activity. Together, ARIEL and TRIUMF will generate a $750 million economic impact over a decade with 1,200 jobs.

ARIEL will also pioneer accelerator-based technologies for making conventional medical isotopes and uncover the medical isotopes of the future, especially those targeted at therapy. Minister Wilkinson, with an academic and professional background as a licensed physician, probed the topic of nuclear medicine, exploring the techniques and innovations that will continue to generate benefits to British Columbians – and all Canadians.

The Ministers enjoyed their afternoon at TRIUMF, meeting with students, engineers, and researchers across the laboratory.

More photos from Minister Virk and Minister Wilkinson’s visit available on Flickr.


–Melissa Baluk, TRIUMF Communications Coordinator