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TRIUMF is Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics located on The University of British Columbia campus in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Owned and operated as a joint venture by a consortium of Canadian universities via a contribution through the National Research Council Canada (NRC), TRIUMF's facilities are available to Canadian scientists and to scientists from around the world. Many Canadian university scientists collaborate in multi-institutional groups, which in turn collaborate with international groups to mount large-scale projects at TRIUMF and at national laboratories in Europe, the United States, and Japan. TRIUMF provides the technological and scientific infrastructure to ensure these Canadian collaborations are capable and ready to participate on the world stage.
TRIUMF is Canada's primary centre for subatomic physics research. Subatomic physics investigates the properties of fundamental microscopic particles that comprise the nature of matter in the universe and the nuclear processes that take place in stars that determine not only their evolution but also the evolution of the universe. TRIUMF's subatomic physics research is also used to benefit other scientific research carried out at TRIUMF. For example, the facility supports a diverse program of experimental research in molecular and materials sciences, which help us understand the structure of new materials so essential for future technologies. The TRIUMF Life Sciences group is involved in collaborations with health research and treatment centres across Canada. These collaborations include one with The University of British Columbia, which uses Positron Emission Tomography (PET) to study neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and the BC Cancer Agency for which TRIUMF produces fluorine-18 for patient diagnostics and treatments.
The internationally recognized excellence of TRIUMF and its collaborations world-wide substantially contributes to Canada's image as a scientifically and technologically advanced nation. TRIUMF provides an essential scientific and technical resource base to about 1000 users world wide. The needs of the scientific program are often very demanding, and new engineering and technical processes are constantly being developed. This environment provides a very exciting and inspiring training ground for young Canadians. Over one hundred young scientists and engineers train at TRIUMF every year.
Another important part of TRIUMF's mission is the transfer of technology, where appropriate or possible, to the Canadian commercial sector. The Technology Transfer Division pursues the commercial opportunities that emanate from TRIUMF's research. The Division's success is exemplified by a recent technology licensing survey undertaken by the Association of University Technology Managers of North America, which compared the commercial transfer of scientific knowledge to actual commercial output. This survey ranked TRIUMF the second highest in Canada. TRIUMF was a co-recipient with MDS Nordion of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council's (NSERC) 2004 Synergy Award in recognition of its outstanding University - Industry Research and Development collaboration.
TRIUMF's technology has contributed to commercial interests as diverse as forestry, aerospace electronics, agriculture, environmental issues, advanced machinery, medical engineering and radioisotope production. In particular, TRIUMF has a long-standing association with MDS Nordion for the production, at the TRIUMF site in Vancouver, of radioisotopes for medical diagnosis and therapy. Each week, over 45,000 patient procedures are undertaken, primarily in North America, with the radioisotopes produced at TRIUMF. Canada's only ocular melanoma proton irradiation facility is operated by TRIUMF and administered by the BC Cancer Agency.