News Release Article from  National Research Council of Canada

The National Research Council kicks off its 100th birthday celebrations

Honouring a hundred years of scientific achievements and industrial innovations

January 25, 2016 – Ottawa, ON

As Canada prepares for the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the National Research Council (NRC), Canada's "go-to" research and technology organization (RTO), is kicking off its centennial celebrations. Throughout the year, NRC will be holding special events and activities with communities across the country to celebrate its history and honour the people behind its ground-breaking scientific achievements, while looking forward to the next 100 years.

Established on June 6, 1916, the National Research Council rallied the nation's science and technology resources to counter threats faced by Canadians and their wartime allies. NRC's advisory role soon evolved into one directly involved in research, with a mandate to solve pressing national challenges. Today's nuclear energy, aerospace, and communication industries can trace their roots to NRC's war research efforts.

Over the last 50 years, the National Research Council turned to civilian pursuits of national importance and set up support structures to help Canadian businesses innovate. This led to the invention of the pacemaker, the world's first motorized wheelchair, national construction codes, aviation firsts, bomb detection, anti-counterfeiting technology, tools for avalanche and flood preparedness, Canada's first astronaut team and the Canadarm, precision time-keeping, world-class observatories, award-winning computer animation, vaccines that have saved thousands of children, and so much more.

The National Research Council will officially celebrate its birthday on June 6, 2016. Celebrations will kick off in Ottawa at the annual Winterlude festival with an ice sculpture made up of 100 blocks of ice—paying tribute to a century of discovery.

Quick Facts

  • Established on June 6, 1916, the National Research Council was a modest committee of university and industry leaders looking to mobilize science and technology in the national interest. Today, as Canada's "go-to" RTO, NRC is the country's engine for industrial innovation.
  • Over the last 100 years, the world around the National Research Council has changed many times, and each time NRC has responded by renewing itself to help address critical economic and societal challenges.
  • The National Research Council has some fifty research facilities nationwide, including in Vancouver, Penticton, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, London, Cambridge, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Boucherville, Saguenay, Fredericton, Moncton, Halifax, Charlottetown, and St. John's. And NRC's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) has offices in over 100 communities across Canada.


“Congratulations to the National Research Council on celebrating their 100th anniversary, marking a proud history of scientific and technological excellence. As we celebrate this important milestone, I'd like to recognize the important work and achievements of the NRC's researchers and scientists, which are an inspiration to all Canadians.”

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

“Throughout its history, the National Research Council has always renewed itself to best serve the needs of Canada and Canadians. I am proud of the accomplishments of all our past and present employees. Their work and determination is the reason the National Research Council is so valuable to Canada. With a hundred years of ground-breaking achievements behind us, we look forward to our new century of support for innovation.”

John R. McDougall, President of the National Research Council of Canada

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Media Relations Team
National Research Council of Canada
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