Innovation Saskatchewan is responsible for implementing the province’s innovation priorities and helping grow Saskatchewan’s tech sector. Effective April 2022, this includes operation of the Innovation Place technology parks in Saskatoon and Regina.

Curious about the tenants at Innovation Place?
Check out our Meet the Tenants series to learn more about them and what they do.

Meet the Tenants

Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation

Innovation Place tenant since

The Atrium - West (111 Research Drive)

Innovation Place, Saskatoon

Tell us about Sylvia Fedoruk Canadian Centre for Nuclear Innovation!

The Fedoruk Centre is a not-for-profit corporation established in 2011 with the purpose to place Saskatchewan among the global leaders in nuclear research and development, training through investment in partnerships with academia and industry for maximum societal and economic benefit. The Fedoruk Centre has four business lines: supports research by funding projects led by Saskatchewan based scientists; funds programs to support research and development; operates and manages research facilities such as Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences (SCCS); and provides training and consulting services.

Our target audience is segmented in the following ways:

  • Scientists from academia and industry that operate in the nuclear area, for example, in the production of radioisotopes, nuclear medicine, nuclear imaging. Our organization supports the research and development of diagnostic and therapeutic agents used in cancer therapy. We manufacture and supply the most common agent used in Positron Emission Tomography scanning: FluoroDeoxiGlucose (FDG) to RUH and out of the province hospital. The compound is used to light up the cancer cells in living organisms.
  • General public interested in nuclear topics. Through our Nuclear Insight event, we encourage respectful discussions about everything nuclear. We facilitate the dialogue between the experts in the field and public at large.
  • Policy and decision-makers. We have knowledge and access to expertise to support decision making on issues of nuclear technology.

Why do you love working in Saskatchewan?

Saskatchewan has a strong history in nuclear sciences that started in 1948 when Professor Harold Johns, “the father of medical physics in Canada,” installed the betatron for use in a cancer treatment program. Under his supervision, the world’s first calibrated Cobalt-60 cancer therapy unit is established at the University of Saskatchewan. Sylvia Fedoruk carries out the calibration work as part of her M.A thesis.

Our centre contributes to the expansion of this work by supporting research and development in Saskatchewan. The state-of-the-art facility of Saskatchewan Centre for Cyclotron Sciences was established in 2015 and starting in 2016 our team has delivered the first dose of FDG to RUH. Since then, the nuclear medicine department runs about 2500 PET scans yearly with a local produced radiopharmaceutical.

With financial support from Innovation Saskatchewan, the Fedoruk Centre is in continuous growth. The newly renovated Innovation Wing, equipped with the latest imaging units, provides the infrastructure for innovative science in the areas of life sciences from pre-clinical research to plant imaging. Scientists from Saskatchewan receive financial support through Fedoruk Centre grants. Yearly (during the fall), we organize calls for proposals for local scientists.

What are the chall­enges of working in Saskat­chewan?

The Fedoruk Centre operates one of the most regulated facilities: the SCCS. Our team does not only deal with nuclear substances regulated by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), but also manufactures radioactive drugs regulated by Health Canada and maintains the facility in a state of readiness for researchers that conduct studies in animals for pre-clinical research. That involves additional regulatory compliance to maintain a vivarium. One of the most predominant challenges we faced was to recruit highly qualified personnel in the province. Being beneficiaries of strong support from the provincial government, we have invested in training programs for our staff, which is now highly specialized. Our people are the most valuable resource -- we are proud of them.

We run the Fedoruk Centre from the headquarter office located in the Atrium building of Innovation Place on the same floor with one of our key stakeholders: Innovation Saskatchewan. We also are one level above one of our users: Canadian Isotope Innovations private corporation that operates in the same industry and works on the development of innovative technologies. The position facilitates direct communication and interactions. The Innovation Place team is very supportive; our needs are satisfied promptly. We use the infrastructure regularly for our events, an example being the last Nuclear Facts peer-to-peer forum held in the Canola room. Innovation Place contributed to the success of this event. In the future, we envisage using Innovation Place resources for another activity such as Nuclear Insights, which will be organized this spring.

What does the future of Saskatchewan tech look like to you?

Saskatchewan and Saskatoon grow and grow fast. This development is noticed everywhere, from supporting innovative research to state of the art infrastructures. The future of Saskatchewan is towards clean and environmentally friendly technology. Power generation is only an example. The agreement signed by the premiers of three provinces (Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick) to work together to explore new technologies and develop small modular reactors is a stepping stone towards Saskatchewan’s future.

The Fedoruk Centre provides expertise to industry and government on the pros and cons of nuclear energy and is working to engage with the public to communicate the facts about nuclear energy and ways in which it could contribute to a sustainable future. We work towards informing the general public on the benefic role of nuclear technologies those being nuclear imaging in plants, nuclear imaging in medicine or nuclear energy. Our Nuclear Insights series is designed to encourage respectful discussion between experts in the nuclear industry and the general public. Through our work, we contribute to the development of cutting edge technologies in the nuclear industry and support Saskatchewan’s future.

How does Innovation Place help you thrive in Saskatchewan’s tech sector?

We appreciate the support from Innovation Place for some of our initiatives. For example, Innovation Place supported our successful application to host the 11th International Conference on Isotopes in Saskatoon. The event, organized in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan and Tourism Saskatoon is planned for 2022.

Innovation Place helps in raising the profile of our organization through podcasts and video recordings. Being up to date with what happens in the tech community is key to our mandate. As tenants of Innovation Place we have access to lots of resources expanding from the availability of massage therapy, chiropractor and access to the gym facility, a beautiful garden, and skating rink to the well-equipped business room and catering for our guests. The great design and plant life contribute to the creation of an excellent working and friendly atmosphere.

Where’s your favourite spot at Innovation Place?

Boffin’s garden is a magic spot in Innovation Place. Either used for skating during the winter or for reflecting during the summertime while watching the Koi fishes, the garden gives the energy to move on. The relaxing Japanese landscape is the oasis of the technologically loaded park.

What’s the best advice you can give to people?

Follow your dreams, be creative and open-minded. In this century, life evolves at the speed of light and technology is the driver. Take your time to reflect and analyze your environment and embrace change.

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- 2020