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Winnipeg Forges World-Class Institute

Since its inception in 1992, the National Research Council of Canada’s Institute for Biodiagnostics (NRC-IBD) has become a leader in diagnostic technology.

NRCI-IBD focuses on researching and developing non-invasive medical devices and techniques to increase prospects for prevention, earlier diagnosis, improved treatment and prognosis of diseases. Also intrinsic to the Institute’s work is the transfer of technology to the private sector – stimulating economic activity and creating jobs through technology commercialization.

From its headquarters in Winnipeg, the Institute’s research network now reaches around the world, combining collaboration and expertise with opportunities to establish affordable and accurate diagnoses for diseases that touch everyone. Today, medical instruments developed at NRC-IBD are used around the world and its seven spin-off companies have achieved sales valued at $15 million to date.

Among NRC-IBD’s most lauded achievements is the development of a movable magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system that allows surgeons to do non-invasive scans before, during, and after surgery.

Most recently, Dr. Ian Smith, Director General for the Institute, has been named an officer of the Order of Canada. Dr. Smith has been one of the primary drivers behind the of the Institute’s work since it was established with the help of $7 million towards equipment from Western Economic Diversification Canada.

Dr. Ian Smith was named to the Order late last year for his leadership in the advancement, development and commercialization of Canada’s diagnostic technologies. He has been a driving force in the development of technologies that reduce the invasiveness of surgical procedures, which improves the effectiveness of treatments and therapies while limiting possible complications. His specialty is early diagnosis of cancer using MRI scanners and spectroscopy. He began his career at NRC in 1967.

It is a privilege to share in the success of the NRC Institute for Biodiagnostics and the Winnipeg biomedical cluster,” said Dr. Smith upon receiving the appointment, which is among the highest honours available to Canadian civilians. “I feel a great sense of satisfaction in knowing that I have contributed to improving the health of Canadians and helped to build a stronger medical devices industry that brings greater wealth and prestige to Canada and NRC.