News Release Article from  Western Economic Diversification Canada

Archived - Harper Government Investment Strengthens Medical Isotope Development at TRIUMF

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May 30, 2014 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Western Economic Diversification Canada

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Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced funding of $5.5 million to support TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, in procuring a new TR-24 cyclotron and developing the Institute for Accelerator-based Medical Isotopes (IAMI).

Medical isotopes are used by health practitioners to diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. A key priority of the Government of Canada is the development of a secure supply of medical isotopes for Canadians. The procurement of the new cyclotron and establishment of IAMI will allow for the development of new isotope products, processes, and services.

In addition, other benefits of IAMI will be the provision of a platform for local British Columbia enterprises to study and test drug therapeutics, and the development of highly qualified personnel in the field of nuclear medicine.

Quick Facts

  • A cyclotron is a machine, powered by electricity and magnets, used in nuclear medicine to produce isotopes. This method produces accelerator-based medical isotope, not reactor-based, and therefore does not use uranium.
  • An isotope is a compound that is injected into the body and experiences radioactive decay, thereby allowing doctors (with the use of a PET/MRI scanner) to “see” what is happening in the body. 
  • It is estimated that over a decade, IAMI will generate $20 million in direct and indirect economic impacts.


"Our Government is committed to ensuring a reliable supply of medical isotopes.  This investment will advance innovation and economic opportunity while helping to ensure organizations are equipped with the tools necessary to benefit the West, and by extension, all Canadians.”

- The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

"Canada’s investment into IAMI and Isotope Valley highlights the regional excellence created here through strong partnerships and interdisciplinary research. Support of partnerships – like that of TRIUMF – enhance product development, the innovation of new technologies, and increased access to medical isotopes for the health benefit of all Canadians.”

- Paul Schaffer, Head, Nuclear Medicine, TRIUMF

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Emily Goucher
Office of the Minister
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Telephone: 613-954-8097

Melissa Baluk
Communications Coordinator
Telephone: 604-222-7692

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