(Whitehorse, Yukon, 21 August 2014) Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the launch of the National Research Council (NRC) Arctic Program. As part of the Arctic Program, the NRC will enter into research partnerships, which focus on technology aimed at improving the lives of Northerners and advancing Northern economic development.

The announcement took place at the Yukon Cold Climate Innovation Centre, within the Yukon Research Centre of Excellence at YukonCollege, where the Prime Minister highlighted NRC-supported practical research into high efficiency home insulation suited for Northern climates.

Harper said, “The Government of Canada is committed to harnessing science, technology and research to further develop Canada’s North and improve the lives of Northerners. The new National Research Council Arctic Program will help improve housing, transport and resource development.”

The announcement was made during the Prime Minister’s ninth annual Northern Tour, taking place from August 21 to 26, 2014. He was joined by Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), James Moore, Minister of Industry, Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council, and Ryan Leef, Member of Parliament for Yukon.

The NRC Arctic Program will focus on four main priority areas: resource development; northern transportation and shipping; marine safety technologies; and community infrastructure. The research and development performed through the Arctic Program will have several benefits including:

  • Increasing the safety of resource development in ice-covered waters by reducing the uncertainty in ice loads, and increasing the reliability of ice management, as well as enabling the effective detection and remediation of oil under ice;
  • Developing and implementing technologies that will reduce the number of incidents and vessel structural damage;
  • Increasing the number of days of operational use of ice roads;Increasing the survivability rates in lifeboats;
  • Increasing the performance of immersion suits in a cold and harsh ocean environment; and,
  • Reducing catastrophic failures in urban infrastructure, and increasing energy efficiency and durability of northern housing, thereby decreasing the cost of maintenance and repairs.

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Arctic Program

NRC Arctic Program