Areas of R&D

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The NRC can help industry and government tackle strategic national priorities through mission-oriented research and technology development. The NRC's programs focus on issues of strategic importance to Canada and showcase the NRC's unique value proposition to deliver high impacts within a specified timeframe.

These programs are implemented to address the technology needs of existing and emerging sectors and deliver economical and immediately applicable solutions to technical and business challenges affecting the competitiveness of Canadian industry.

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Advanced electronics, photonics and digital technologies

The Advanced Electronics and Photonics and Digital Techonologies Research Centres will work with industry and government to develop leading edge technology and systems across the technology readiness scale, support the growth and adoption of digital technologies and increase the competitiveness and effectiveness of Canadian firms and government departments and agencies.


The Aerospace Research Centre will provide facilities and expertise to industry and government agencies resulting in a constant stream of fresh ideas, new technologies and development and demonstration of products and processes targeting the strategic and market challenges faced by the Canadian aerospace sector.

Aquatic and crop resource development

The Aquatic and Crop Resource Development Research Centre will assist industry to transform aquatic and crop resources by developing innovative technologies leading to value-added products, increasing productivity, and improving sustainability.

Astronomy and astrophysics

The Herzberg Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Centre will operate and administer leading-edge facilities to optimize the capture of economic and other benefits from their construction and operation and ensure the facilities effectively support Canadian science and the training and attraction of highly qualified researchers.

Automotive and surface transportation

The Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Centre will work with industry across the supply chain to develop, validate and deploy advanced and agile technologies to manufacture lighter, more fuel efficient, environmentally-friendly and more economical to operate vehicles. It will also provide unique, vehicle-centric infrastructure and expertise to provide testing and experimentation services, vehicle/track interface and surface mobility technologies and value‑added engineering solutions that address the complex problems facing the rail and heavy duty vehicle transportation sectors.


The Construction Research Centre will provide support to develop research-and technology-based solutions and services that enable Canada's construction industry to achieve higher performing, affordable buildings and infrastructure, and accelerate technology commercialization.

Energy, mining and environment

The Energy, Mining and Environment Research Centre will support Canadian companies along the value chain involved in extracting and processing Canada's natural resources: in energy (fossil and renewable), in metals such as aluminum, copper and zinc and in non-metals such as diamond and phosphate. It will provide R&D, higher-value products as well as innovative solutions to mitigate environmental risks and increase global competitiveness.

Human health therapeutics

The Human Health Therapeutics Research Centre will work with Canadian-based SMEs and multi-nationals to develop and manufacture therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics and enable Canadian SMEs to increase market capitalization, create jobs, and generate new product sales.

Measurement science and standards

The Measurement Science and Standards Research Centre will maintain the national measurement system; support the measurement related trade, product development, environment and health and regulatory needs of public and private-sector stakeholders; develop and make available, timely solutions for emerging technologies; and meet the evolving needs of mature industrial sectors.

Medical devices

The Medical Devices Research Centre will work with Canadian SMEs to develop small, low cost medical technologies which provide rapid, sensitive, accurate and low-cost solutions that are globally competitive.


The Nanotechnology Research Centre will devise nano-enabled solutions that meet scalability, integration, manufacturability and environmental health and safety requirements for product development. As an enabling technology, nanotechnology translates into several industry sectors, including energy, transport and security.

Ocean, coastal and river engineering

The Ocean, Coastal and River Engineering Research Centre will provide facilities and technological expertise to assist industry and government to improve the management and performance of vehicles, infrastructure and systems that operate in Canada's oceans, coastal regions and river systems.

Security and disruptive technologies

The Security and Disruptive Technologies Research Centre will build research and technology development capacity in critical emergent areas important to Canada, develop technology solutions for clients and provide client access to specialised scientific infrastructure.

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