By Dr. Claire Brown

The Canadian Network of Scientific Platforms (CNSP) had their inaugural meeting in Montreal on May 9, 2017. More than one hundred researchers from across Canada (seven provinces) and abroad (United States, Germany) gathered to discuss how to network, fund and sustain high level scientific platforms that house state-of-the-art infrastructure, highly refined unique scientific expertise and are integral to the success of thousands of research programs across Canada. The network was founded in August of 2016 and has 16 member institutions and 95 member scientific platforms from 8 provinces.

A definition of what constitutes a scientific platform (SP) and the detailed mandate of the CNSP can be found on the CNSP Website. Briefly, the network aims to promote awareness, educate researchers, develop best practices for operation & management, network and exchange ideas, promote interactions with industry leaders and create a cooperative culture in the Canadian research community.

The meeting included talks about the CNSP, the Euro-BioImaging network, a keynote address from Dr. Philip Hockberger, Assistant VPR and Executive Director of Research Facilities at Northwestern University in Chicago on “Building a Sustainable Portfolio of Core Facilities”. He stressed that to have strong sustainable SPs (a.k.a. core facilities) there is not only a need for state-of-the-art infrastructure but also world class talent in the people directing, managing and operating the infrastructure.

The afternoon included a panel discussion about how to fund and sustain SPs with representatives from the UBC Facility for Infectious Disease and Epidemic Research (FINDER), the Core Research Equipment & Instrument Training Network (CREAIT) at Memorial University and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The day ended with presentations of SP resources including the CFI Navigator, the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities (ABRF) web-based Core Marketplace, the Atlantic Facilities & Research Equipment Database (AFRED) and the Pôle de recherche et d’innovation en matériaux avancés au Québec (PRIMA Québec). An evening networking dinner was held at the McGill Faculty Club.

CNSP Executive Board. Guillaume Lesage (Treasurer), Céline Coderre (Secretary), Claire Brown (President), Marie-Ève Paquet (Central Canada Representative), Laurence Lejeune (Vice President), François Jean (Western Canada Representative), Brent Myron (Eastern Canada Representative.


May 25, 2017