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January 19, 2018

New National Partnership Aims to Build Canada’s Science and Technology Workforce and Leadership

Early programs target young women and the best and brightest across the country

January 19, 2018, OTTAWA, ON – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, and the Foundation for Student Science and Technology (FSST) are joining forces to launch a new series of national programs targeted to exceptional young people pursuing innovative careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). The goal is to help cultivate an innovative workforce essential for meeting the country’s economic needs for years to come.

“It is widely recognized that future Canadian growth and prosperity will heavily depend on our ability to create and innovate,” said Mark Lesinski, President and CEO, CNL. “If we are to continue to compete and succeed globally, and maintain the quality and way of life to which we are accustomed, it is essential to build and grow a strong, capable STEAM-based workforce. The programs that we are launching are intended to help do just that.”

“These new programs will challenge our young people and provide some much needed support and encouragement as they consider career options in science, technology and innovation,” said Jacques Guerette, Executive Director, FSST. “In particular, they will help draw out and develop leadership qualities absolutely essential to future success.”

Under the new partnership, two new programs are launching immediately.

The first program is a new publication that will inform, inspire and spark discussion aimed at encouraging women to pursue and sustain careers in science, technology and innovation. It will accomplish this by helping young women establish and build peer networks of support, encouragement and information and by serving as a compendium of formal and informal scientific and social research, development programs, and other work in this area.

Codenamed Project W™, two issues are planned for the first year with the publishing frequency increasing in subsequent years. The inaugural issue of Project W will launch in the spring of 2018 and will be available in print and electronic formats. More details about the publication will be released later.

“The career challenges for women in STEAM-disciplines are many, varied and reasonably well recognized,” said Guerette. “Project W is trying to help women tackle some of these challenges by creating a new platform that offers encouraging and pragmatic information, research and other useful resources.”

“Women are central to the global clean energy revolution. We will do better when women are fully represented in leadership roles – bringing cleaner, renewable energy onto the grid, accelerating innovation in clean energy technologies, encouraging energy efficiency and increasing our resilience to climate change,” said the Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural resources.

The second program – called The Grand Challenge for Discovery and Innovation™ – is a national competition intended to stretch and showcase the imagination and ingenuity of future leaders in science, technology and innovation.  High school students (individuals or teams) from across the country will submit research proposals to a competitive, professional peer-review process designed to evaluate the quality of the research work.

Students with the highest-scoring proposals will have the opportunity to complete their research projects using the full range of facilities at CNL’s Chalk River campus in Ontario and to formally publish their results in the Foundation’s peer-reviewed Journal of Student Science and Technology. From this pool, the highest-scoring individual or team will be awarded a significant scholarship to a Canadian university.

“Deep River, as the proud hometown of CNL, is looking forward to working with FSST and CNL as a partner in education.  These new and exciting education opportunities will ensure inclusivity for young women, and encourage youth to explore, discover and pursue their passion for innovation and creativity. This really is an investment in developing our future leaders in science and innovation,” adds Joan Lougheed, Mayor of Deep River.

Details of the Grand Challenge for Discovery and Innovation™ – including timelines, application process, evaluation criteria, research themes, and more – will be announced later.

About FSST

The Foundation for Student Science and Technology is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to developing the career potential of exceptional high school, college and university students for leadership roles in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Foundation aims to cultivate tomorrow’s STEM leaders by advancing their early knowledge of career demands and challenges.

Programs include the award-winning Journal of Student Science and Technology, the Student Science and Technology Online Research Co-op, a national Ambassador Program, and more.

For more information, please visit or contact

About CNL

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally.

With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.

For more information on the complete range of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories services, please visit or contact

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FSST Jacques Guerette Executive Director 613 621-1044

Patrick Quinn
Director, Corporate Communications

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