ARCHIVED - Construction Begins on NRC Institute in PEI

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December 04, 2004— Ottawa, Ontario

Construction at NCR-INH in PEI, November 2004
Construction at NCR-INH in PEI, November 2004

The famous red soil of Prince Edward Island has been moved in preparation for construction of the new Institute for Nutrisciences and Health (NRC-INH) in Charlottetown.

"Since the earliest planning days, this new NRC Institute was envisioned as the hub of the nutrisciences cluster that is emerging in this region," said the Honourable Shawn Murphy, MP for Charlottetown. "Today we see that vision begin to take physical shape, and it is exciting to know that it, like the many NRC institutes across the country, will attract investment and opportunity on a grand scale."

Excerpt from Blog by NRC-INH Lead Scientist, Dr. Michael Mayne

"In today's rat race, where everyone is speeding from one job to the next, there is little opportunity to slow down and think about things. Through the general meeting areas that exist on each research floor, I know that the scientists will develop wonderful new and exciting approaches to their questions - perhaps over a cup of coffee. Like most professions, science is as much about being smart and industrious as it is about being clever and indeed, lucky."

Construction of the $11.5 million, 5 127 square metre (55,269 square foot) facility, will be complete in early 2006. The building has been designed to house leading-edge equipment and to maximize interaction and collaboration among the teams of highly skilled research professionals as well as private-sector partners. For example, plans provide dedicated space on each of the three research floors for industrial partners incubating at the institute. These partners will be able to develop their programs through access to the facilities, equipment and research collaboration offered by the Institute. After a period of incubation, successful industrial partners will leave the facility and continue to develop and expand in the private sector in the community. At full complement, the facility will accommodate 80 to 100 individuals.

Scientists at NRC-INH specialize in studying compounds found in nature (bioactives) for their potential to improve health. A bioactive (a biologically active compound) is a molecule or compound that has biological activity at a tissue or cell level. Bioactives can have beneficial or detrimental effects. In the context of health research, bioactives are studied for their commonly accepted health benefits. Three primary areas of concentration are neurological disorders, obesity-related disorders, and infection and immunity. The focus is not only on the discovery of new and potentially therapeutic compounds, but also involves refining these naturally-occurring substances and, finally, commercializing the results of this research.

Left to right: Dr. Andy Woodsworth, NRC's VP, Research (Life Sciences and Information Technology), the Hon. Mike Currie, PEI Development and Technology Minister; the Hon. Shawn Murphy, MP for Charlottetown; Wade MacLauchlan, President, University of Prince Edward Island.
Left to right: Dr. Andy Woodsworth, NRC's VP, Research (Life Sciences and Information Technology), the Hon. Mike Currie, PEI Development and Technology Minister; the Hon. Shawn Murphy, MP for Charlottetown; Wade MacLauchlan, President, University of Prince Edward Island.

Located on the campus of the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI), NRC-INH is the latest in long list of successful partnerships established by NRC as part of national technology cluster-building efforts. With partners such as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Province of Prince Edward Island (PEI) and UPEI, NRC-INH is positioned to be at the centre of a dynamic research cluster bringing together the critical mass of skilled people, expertise, capital and entrepreneurial drive to fuel economic development in the region and help Canadians through its research into critical health issues.

"Innovation in research and development will be key to the growth of our economy," said PEI Development and Technology Minister Mike Currie, on behalf of Premier Pat Binns. "The partnerships that are fostered by the NRC – Institute for Nutrisciences and Health will form the basis for our emerging bio-sciences sector and will be an important component of job and wealth creation for this province."


Enquiries: Media relations
National Research Council of Canada
613-991-1431
media@nrc-cnrc.gc.ca

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