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Funded 2008-2016

NCE contributions
$15 million

Number of partners

Partner contributions
$7.2 million

Vancouver, British Columbia

Turning Canada's physics expertise into commercial opportunity

The study of sub-atomic research particles has potential applications that affect the safety, health, environmental integrity and economic viability of Canada and Canadians in highly innovative and positive ways. Yet, physics-derived products and services often require long development times and access to some of the most complex and expensive facilities in the country – increasing the risk for both inventors and investors. Fortunately, Canada has a strong foundation of internationally recognized expertise in particle accelerators and advanced radiation detection systems. In 2008, a national approach led by the TRIUMF national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics pooled the technical and economic resources needed to reduce these risks, attract private sector investments and bring solutions to market faster.

Advanced Applied Physics Solutions (APPS) accelerated innovation by selecting projects with the most promising physics-based technologies and forming collaborations with academia, government and industry to identify markets, develop products and commercialize these technologies. These collaborations validated the technology, while helping to build the business case by determining commercial readiness, potential market value and industry acceptance. AAPS used a business model that proved its ability to expedite the process from idea to commercial success, which attracted interest from the broader technology community.

Among the results

  • In September 2013, a consortium consisting of AAPS, TRIUMF, the BC Cancer Agency, the Lawson Health Institute and the Centre for Probe Development and Commercialization, with funding from Natural Resources Canada, established ARTMS Products Inc. to commercialize technology to produce Tc-99M — one of the most widely used medical isotopes. The new cyclotron-based technology was critical to meeting Canada’s isotope needs after the AECL National Research Universal reactor in Chalk River, Ontario is expected to stop producing the vital isotopes in 2018.
  • In 2014, AAPS and a Canadian oil service company incorporated Frontier Sonde Inc. (FSI) to commercialize a well-logging tool designed to help oil and gas companies locate residual oil reservoirs and enhance oil recovery. Thanks to $1.5 million in funding from a private investor in 2015, FSI developed a second generation well logging tool.
  • AAPS signed a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement with a Canadian oil service company in 2013 to develop a prototype multi-function pulsed neutron well logging system for the oil and gas industry to measure porosity, water saturation, gas detection, location and monitoring of gas/oil and water/oil contacts. AAPS and its commercial partner incorporated a start-up company to commercialize the tool for the international market.
  • Thanks to additional support from Western Economic Diversification Canada, AAPS developed the prototype and established CRM GeoTomography Technologies Inc. to commercialize an imaging technology similar to medical CAT scans that can identify mineral deposits and determine the location of valuable ore deposits, reducing the costs and environmental impact associated with current mining exploration practices.
  • In 2009, AAPS acquired the assets and intellectual property of a niche manufacturer of X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) calibration standards  and merged them with their foils lab to create Micromatter. After receiving incubation services from AAPS, Micromatter was incorporated as an independent company and sold in 2014. Since then, Micromatter has developed a new product (Tantalum XRF standard) and a new service for determining the impurities and radioactivity of Molybdenum oxide targets.
*(formerly known as Advanced Applied Physics Solutions AAPS)