Federal cuts threaten "unique" research facility

December 4, 2014

The Canadian National Ultrahigh-Field NMR Facility for Solids in Ottawa is at risk of closure after losing its federal funding. The facility is home to the most powerful magnet in Canada, which is used in an NMR spectrometer used to gather information about the structure of molecules and the interaction of atoms. This makes the facility the most advanced of its kind in Canada, and one of the most advanced in the world. The facility was slated to close on December 15 after the federal government canceled the Major Resource Support program, which provided nearly $100,000 a year in operating funds. Researchers came to a new agreement with the National Research Council to stay open until at least March. However, they say that they still need another $200,000 if they want to stop the facility from closing in the near future. The University of Ottawa’s Sylvain Charbonneau, who helps manage the machine, said that he has been in touch with 8 institutions across Canada to help come up with the additional funds, while Gang Wu, a professor at Queen’s University, added that the facility’s steering committee is trying to negotiate with federal granting agencies for operating funds. CBC News