BC Government announces major investment in TRIUMF's advanced rare isotope laboratory (ARIEL)

Today the BC government announced an $8.7 million investment in a national initiative to bolster Canada’s world-class rare isotope capabilities. The contribution from the BC Knowledge Development Fund (BCKDF) supports TRIUMF’s Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory (ARIEL), a two-phase multidisciplinary research facility that will advance our fundamental understanding of the world in which we live.

The ARIEL initiative is led by the University of Victoria (UVic), with 18 additional collaborating university partners from across Canada.

Rare isotopes are powerful tools for scientific discovery with a broad range of real-life applications from medicine and life sciences to advanced industrial manufacturing. To fully understand the properties of rare isotopes requires unique techniques and tools such as those being developed with ARIEL. Rare isotopes are not typically found in nature; they’re produced by particle accelerators in a handful of laboratories around the world, such as TRIUMF, Canada’s national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics and accelerator-based science.

With the addition of ARIEL, TRIUMF will significantly increase its scientific productivity and the impact of its rare isotope program. ARIEL will be globally competitive and deploy next-generation technologies to deliver a variety of isotopes to multiple experiments simultaneously. This new degree of flexibility will provide TRIUMF users with increased capacity to support research and innovation.

In 2010, the province awarded TRIUMF $30.7 million for the first phase of ARIEL, which included construction of the facility and of Canada’s first high-powered, superconducting radio-frequency electron linear accelerator—one of the world’s most powerful. TRIUMF worked closely with industry to develop this made-in-BC technology and subsequently transferred it to the private sector.

This latest provincial investment in ARIEL’s second phase is directed toward outfitting the facility, unleashing an increasingly diversified scientific program at TRIUMF. ARIEL reinforces TRIUMF’s role as an international hub for multidisciplinary rare isotope research, and will strengthen research collaborations, catalyze new industrial partnerships, and generate greater opportunities for training the next generation of scientists, engineers and technicians.

Since TRIUMF’s founding, UVic and the laboratory have forged strong ties anchored in management and research. The multi-institutional, national aspect of the ARIEL initiative is testimony to the strong, ongoing partnerships among collaborating institutions and to the effective use of the large-scale infrastructure at TRIUMF for discovery and innovation.

In addition to the BC investment, ARIEL is supported by contributions from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

More information is here