To the Editor:
Innovation is a word you see and hear a lot these days, and with good reason. It’s critical for the nuclear industry that we keep challenging ourselves to be better by identifying new processes, taking advantage of new technologies and listening to ideas from different places.
That was the motivation for Bruce Power and the County of Bruce for announcing in the spring of 2018 a partnership to launch the Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) – a leading-edge nuclear applied research facility in the heart of rural Ontario.
NII has been busy on several fronts in 2019, highlighted by:
· The hiring of Bruce Wallace as the Institute’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Bruce, who had a distinguished career as a journalist covering stories around the world, was previously the Chief Innovation Officer with a manufacturing supercluster. A long-time resident of Southampton, he brings knowledge, experience and expertise in innovation, and is highly motivated to begin putting projects and programs in motion;
· NII is now incorporated and established as an independent not-for-profit organization;
· The securing of NII’s first Founding Members in the summer – Bruce Power, the County of Bruce and Kinectrics. Last week, at the Regional Economic Development and Innovation Summit, the Institute welcomed BWXT and ES Fox as its latest Founding Members. That list will continue to grow in 2020;
· The announcement that NII will have a home in Saugeen Shores, and will be called iSPACE 620. NII staff will move there early in 2020 once renovations are completed.
· The Institute’s board of directors approval of a business plan that focuses on programs and projects in the following key areas: Energy Transformation, Environmental Sustainability, New Skills & Knowledge, and Medical Isotopes & Public Health;
· A commitment to support enhanced education in our region by providing a platform and outreach to local schools to introduce STEM projects into the schools, and to empower the youth of rural Ontario to develop the skills required to succeed in tomorrow’s economy and to access tomorrow’s technology.
Last week’s Summit was an opportunity to celebrate the 59 nuclear supply chain companies which have established a presence in Bruce, Grey and Huron counties. This commitment by these companies to open offices and hire local workers in rural Ontario will also have a positive impact on NII by connecting us with the experience and expertise of leaders in the nuclear sector around the world.
I’m excited about NII helping our industry find new ways to accomplish great things, and doing so on the shores of Lake Huron. Stay tuned for more activity around the Institute in 2020.
We are just getting started.
President and Chief Executive Officer, Bruce Power