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Nova Scotia Research Foundation Corporation technology in action.

From the laboratories of the Nova Scotia Research Foundation Corporation (NSRFC), located on a 10-acre hilltop site in Dartmouth's Woodside Industrial Park, the visitor has a commanding view of the cities of Dartmouth and Halifax and the bustling harbour between. Inside the laboratory buildings the visitor is treated to another view - the activity as the corporation's 115 scientists, engineers, technical and support staff carry out their mandate of putting technology to work to support Nova Scotia's economic development.

The corporate slogan - Technology in Action - says it very well. Each year the NSRFC carries out assignments for 700 Nova Scotia companies from Yarmouth to Cape North, helping industry solve today's technical problems and develop new products for tomorrow's market opportunities. While serving all sectors of the economy particular emphasis is placed on technological support for the secondary manufacturing industry.

Helping 700 companies with a wide range of technical problems draws heavily on the corporation's diverse scientific and technical skills and on the expertise of other local and national R&D and educational institutions. Technology searches to determine the novelty of an idea, evaluation of a mineral deposit, solving a container failure problem, establishing a quality control programme, introducing CAD/CAM applications and identifying and implementing a new plastic coating process are only a few examples of the problems NSRFC's scientists and engineers help industry to solve each year. Under contract with the National Research Council the corporation is one of the agencies delivering NRC's Industrial Research Assistance Programme (IRAP) in Nova Scotia. In addition to its Dartmouth laboratories the NSRFC has offices in Truro, Sydney and Wolfville, to more effectively serve industry in those regions.

The field engineers delivering technical services to industry are backed up by the laboratory facilities and staff expertise. Materials testing, corrosion, analytical chemistry, microbiology and engineering design are among the services available at the Dartmouth laboratories. These capabilities, together with the technical library and linkages with universities and national R&D institutions, means the NSRFC can respond to the technical needs of a broad cross-section of province's industrial community.

Technological developments result in a constant evolution in the corporation's activities. In the past few years joint ventures in microelectronics, biotechnology and bio-resource machinery applications have been established with several universities, combining scarce resources to serve both industrial and educational needs. Currently, with support from both ACOA and the Nova Scotia government, the NSRFC is adding to its capabilities by setting up an Environmental Test Centre to test products and equipment for tolerance to temperature extremes, vibration, shock, altitude, water pressure, ultraviolet rays, sand and dust.

Emphasis on technology transfer within the corporation resulted in the successful licensing of NSRFC's rotary product technology to a Dartmouthbased company, Focal Technologies Inc.

NSRFC looks to repeat this success story by commercializing a new product line of high-efficiency sealed magnetic drives. These new patented drives are for use in totally sealed pumps and blowers with shaft horse-power ranging from 10 to 1,000 hp. The increasing concern for a clean environment and high electrical efficiency make this product timely and of real interest to the process industry.
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Author:MacNeil, R.F.
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Date:May 1, 1990
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