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Executive Summary

This report presents the findings and recommendations of the 2008 TRIUMF Peer Review Committee on the Laboratory's Five-Year Plan, for the period 2010-2015, submitted to the National Research Council of Canada for funding. The Committee membership represented a broad set of disciplines and included experts in the fields of experimental and theoretical particle physics, experimental and theoretical nuclear physics, accelerators, biology, nuclear medicine, condensed matter physics, radiation oncology, and commercialization. The Committee, notwithstanding its diverse expertise and experience, rapidly came to a fully supportive consensus on all the key elements of TRIUMF's Five-Year Plan.

The Plan – concentrating on TRIUMF's core competencies of radioactive beams, support for particle physics experiments, and nuclear medicine – is science driven while at the same time opening opportunities for societal benefit. The underlying basis is formed by the accelerator and detector infrastructure, existing and planned, linking together all scientific areas targeted by the laboratory. These strong interconnections are a unique strength of TRIUMF. The Plan reinforces these linkages and although covering the next five years in detail, it goes far beyond this time scale: it presents a strategic vision for the future of the laboratory, a vision in which Canada should invest. The Plan is also transformational: it builds on the strengths of the present research but opens the path to new world-class initiatives. The two key drivers are the proposed superconducting Electron Linear Accelerator (e-linac) and the expansion of nuclear medicine, both enormous steps forward in several aspects.

The Plan builds on the strong interconnections between accelerators, detectors, and the individual science topics, all addressing fundamental questions in their respective fields. Its coherence and its transformational nature strongly reflect the dynamic leadership of the new laboratory Director and his team. It also builds on the expertise of TRIUMF personnel, including the team of young and skilled people attracted by the exciting prospects the laboratory has begun to offer and which are greatly enhanced in the Five-Year Plan.

The Plan presents an exceptional opportunity for the Canadian scientific and business communities to seize world leadership in the two main thrusts of the proposal. It is fully aligned with Canada's Science and Technology Strategy and strengthens all three advantages: entrepreneurial advantage, knowledge advantage, people advantage.

Recommendation: Consequently, the Review Committee wholeheartedly and unanimously endorses the proposed Plan in its totality. Failure to support either the scientific thrust or the level of funding, as proposed in the Plan, would jeopardize this opportunity irreversibly.

Supporting this recommendation are the following key elements:

Key element #1 – Accelerators

The e-linac would be a transformational addition to the accelerator complex that enhances the capabilities and broadens the scope of every science endeavour at TRIUMF.

The addition of a second proton beam line will both accelerate radioactive beam capability development which has been a limiting factor in expansion of the scientific program at ISACI and ISACII and allow experiments to run simultaneously, thereby increasing overall productivity.

TRIUMF's current accelerator expertise and ambition allows exceptional new partnering opportunities both with frontier international accelerator laboratories and Canadian industry. The accelerator components in the proposed Plan would significantly enhance those opportunities.

Key element #2 – Nuclear Physics

The second proton beam line and the new target station are key elements to ensure TRIUMF continues to be recognized as having a world-leading program in nuclear structure and astrophysics on neutron-deficient nuclei.

The e-linac will be transformational in opening a world-leading research program on neutron rich nuclei.

Both will raise TRIUMF further in the premier league of laboratories for nuclear astrophysics worldwide.

Key element #3 – Life Science and Nuclear Medicine

There is, at this time, a unique opportunity for Canada to drive forward personalized and optimized medicine and health care through the integration of nuclear medicine and the life sciences manifest in the proposal.

TRIUMF and its partners (academic and business) are ideally placed to make major inroads into both the early identification of disease and the measurement of the efficacy of drug-based interventions. This will place Canada at the forefront of these fields.

To capture the transformational role in nuclear medicine and health-care requires the e-linac, the second proton beam line, and TRIUMF's expertise in imaging detector technology.

Key element #4 – Particle Physics

Particle physics in Canada is addressing key scientific questions through participation in world-leading programs: ATLAS at CERN, T2K in Japan, and the SNOLAB facility in Canada.

The ATLAS Tier 1 Centre and the T2K analysis centre are key for enabling this vigorous program.

The capabilities of TRIUMF in detector technologies and infrastructure remain crucial for Canada's continued participation in world-class particle physics research.

Key element #5 – Molecular and Materials Science

TRIUMF represents one of a handful of facilities in the world, and the only North American facility, able to use muons to probe local electromagnetic fields in any condensed matter system, providing experimental data of relevance to magnetic materials and superconductors as well as other materials where properties on the molecular and nanoscale are crucial.

Leveraging the investments in upgraded beamlines (M9A and M20) made by TRIUMF and CFIis a key element of the Plan.

Key element #6 – Commercialization and Economic Impact

TRIUMF has an enviable and successful history of commercialization. The recent CECR award to establish AAPS Inc. puts it on track to double its economic impact over the next five years. The newly acquired core competencies broaden the opportunities for technology transfer particularly in the area of superconducting RF technology where commercialization opportunities are manifest in cryogenics, RF cavities and their associated instrumentation.

Key element #7 – Training and Outreach

TRIUMF has had a substantial and high quality educational program commensurate with the scale and scope of its activities. The new initiatives will enrich all aspects of TRIUMF's education and training program.

Key element #8 – Management

TRIUMF is led by a very talented and capable management team which is fully qualified to successfully implement the Five-Year Plan in its entirety.

The Committee observed with satisfaction the enthusiasm and commitment noticeable at all levels of staff at TRIUMF, from the Director and his team, to students and technicians. There is an excellent spirit in the laboratory illustrating the excitement in the community for the program which was developed strategically as well as in conjunction with stakeholders.

Key element #9 – Coherence

The deep interconnections between TRIUMF's individual science topics and its expertise in accelerators and detectors provide synergies which enhance both fundamental aspects of the laboratory's mission: knowledge creation and economic impact.

Key element #10 – Transformational Nature of the Plan

The Plan opens the path to new world-class initiatives that will be of great benefit for science, education, and the economy of Canada. The two key drivers are the proposed superconducting Electron Linear Accelerator (e-linac) and the expansion of the nuclear medicine program.

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