The Government of Canada to invest in the Canadian Medical Isotope Ecosystem through the Strategic Innovation Fund

Bruce County – June 27, 2023 – Today, the Government of Canada signalled its support for the medical isotope industry with a significant investment through the Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF) under Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED). The SIF is designed to support Canadian growth and innovation by providing targeted funding to specific sectors for large-scale initiatives.

For nearly four years, the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council (CNIC) and six of its members have championed an application to the SIF Stream-5. Together, the Centre for Probe Development in Commercialization, TRIUMF Innovations, Bruce Power, BWXT Medical, McMaster University, and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories have collaborated on a proposal to create an official Canadian Medical Isotope Ecosystem (CMIE).

“This investment from the Government of Canada is a direct result of a culmination of efforts on behalf of leaders in Canada’s isotope community and advocacy from the industry and organizations like the CNIC,” said, James Scongack, Chair of the CNIC. “Having historically been a global leader in isotope production, this investment marks a tremendous step for the Canadian government re-investing in the industry.

This funding will allow each contributor to advance projects and technologies to grow Canada’s medical isotope industry. The investment will support the creation of a CMIE, an ecosystem that allows Canadian experts and scientists to advance new made-in-Canada healthcare products technologies through research, clinical trial, and production stages, with particular focus on the production of lutetium-177 and actinium-225 for cancer therapy and gallium-68 for diagnostic imaging. The CMIE will build capacity while leveraging Canada’s existing expertise at universities, research institutions, and private sector partners.

In March 2023, the CNIC released its Isotopes for Hope campaign and report, which outlines an ambitious vision of doubling isotope production, research, and use by 2030 to expand Canada’s global leadership. With this vision in mind, the report provides a number of key policy recommendations to government to address the barriers to unleashing Canada’s full isotope potential, including approving the SIF application to start building the CMIE. The CNIC is pleased to see the government’s response to the Isotopes for Hope campaign through this investment.

Today’s announcement event was attended by MP Pam Damoff, long-time champion of the isotope industry, on behalf of Hon. François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, as well as Canada’s isotope leaders in recognition of this tremendous support from the federal government.

“The Government of Canada is committed to encouraging and investing in innovation in key life sciences sectors like the medical isotope industry,” said MP Pam Damoff. “Canadian companies are cementing our position as an international leader in isotopes and this funding will contribute to further growth in the ecosystem. It will also contribute to economic reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples with the participation of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation.  Together, we can leverage existing expertise and unlock innovation in the future.”

Instrumental to this announcement is that the SIF funding directly   supports the Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) participation in cancer-fighting isotope production at Bruce Power. In 2019, the SON and Bruce Power entered into a joint agreement to market new isotopes, beginning with lutetium-177, to strengthen Canada’s role in the global isotope industry while working with community partners. The project enables SON to provide an example of First Nation leadership and creates a blueprint for other communities to follow that demonstrates a clear path on how to renew a relationship with industry on the basis of respect, recognition and reconciliation.

With this significant investment, the CMIE will help establish Canada as a hub for isotope research, development, and radiopharmaceutical production. On behalf of Canada’s isotope industry, the CNIC thanks the federal government and Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada for their support and willingness to collaborate with industry to strengthen Canada’s leadership position in the global medical isotope industry.

About the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council

The CNIC is a coalition of science, healthcare and nuclear-sector organizations to ensure Canada remains a world leader in the production of life-saving isotopes by bringing awareness and supporting long-term policies at the domestic and international level that will save countless lives and support health-care innovation for decades to come.

To learn more about the CNIC visit and follow us on, FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

For more information, please contact:
Andrew Thiele
Executive Director, CNIC

Melody Greaves
Policy, Government, and Stakeholder Relations Specialist, CNIC