The Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) had a lot to celebrate today at its launch event which included the announcement of Kinectrics, the first supplier to officially indicate its intent to join NII’s Founding Members Club, and become a part of Canada’s leading-edge nuclear applied research facility and centre of excellence for talent development and business innovation.
The launch event was an opportunity to reflect on a series of achievements over the past year including: securing a new location; partnering with the Town of Saugeen Shores to lead the Municipal Innovation Council; launching the Trades and Skilled Workforce Secretariat with Bruce County, launching the Local Education Fund – which is expected to begin confirming funding commitments by the end of the summer; and hiring an Executive Director to lead in operations.
“After such a successful year in getting things up and running, we are ready to turn our attention to securing members and demonstrate the benefits we will bring to our members, our stakeholders, and our communities across Bruce, Grey, and Huron Counties and beyond,” said Frank Saunders, President of NII.
Over 120 participants joined the event that was highlighted with engaging and motivational stories from keynote speaker Mike Mullane – a retired United States Air Force officer and former National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut, who inspired attendees to imagine the unimaginable as we embark on our journey to build Canada’s leading edge applied research facility.
For Mullane, who completed 134 combat missions in Vietnam while in the U.S. Air Force and later flew three missions into outer space with NASA, giving his “Countdown to Teamwork” speech was a perfect fit with the mandate of NII.
“My experiences have taught me that the strength of any team lies in the diversity of experiences of its members,” said Mullane, also a highly-acclaimed author whose published works include an award-winning children’s book, Liftoff! An Astronaut’s Dream. “The Nuclear Innovation Institute is an opportunity to bring together teams from various industries and sectors and collaborate on new solutions that can change the future of nuclear technology and innovations.”
Mullane also had several copies of his book, ‘Riding Rockets’ available which he spent time autographing.
NII also announced today its Founding Member Board: Chair Mike Rencheck (Bruce Power); Vice-Chair Mitchell Twolan (Bruce County); James Scongack (Bruce Power member); Frank Saunders (NII Member); Good Governance member (sponsored by Bruce Power) Jim Phillips and Jessica Linthorne (Saugeen Shores ex-officio member) and newest member – David Harris (Kinectrics).
L-R Mike Rencheck, President & CEO Bruce Power; Frank Saunders, President Nuclear Innovation Institute; Mitch Twolan, Warden Bruce County; James Scongack, EVP Bruce Power; Mike Mullane, former NASA Astronaut and Event Guest Speaker; Jim Philips, Good Governance NII Board Member; Luke Charbonneau, Mayor Saugeen Shores; Sean Donnelly, Director of Innovation, Kinectrics; Ben Lobb, MP Huron Bruce; Stellina Williams, Executive Director, Nuclear Innovation Institute
“We have achieved a milestone for the Nuclear Innovation Institute with the establishment of a strong Founding Board and the announcement of Kinectrics joining our Founding Members Club, which will ensure that NII carries out its mandate and marks the beginning of its venture to advance technology applications into our industry, construction, and rural Ontario,” said Mike Rencheck, President and CEO of Bruce Power. “We’re looking forward to adding more Canadian and international partners on the Board in the very near future, and embarking upon technical projects and educational programs that we know will have a ground-breaking impact beyond NII’s presence in rural Ontario.”
David Harris, President and CEO of Kinectrics, echoed Rencheck’s comments on the opportunities for NII to make a difference in advancing opportunities for the nuclear industry through a collaborative approach to
“At Kinectrics, we take great pride in our 100 years of technical excellence and innovation, and we continue to grow with a workforce that thrives on finding new, innovation solutions to challenges that the industry faces,” said Harris. “becoming a Founding Member of NII is a meaningful way build on Kinectrics traditions and values and we are excited to be a part of it.”
NII is now officially open for business – with the launch of its new website – www.nuclearinnovationinstitute.ca and membership details.
About the Nuclear Innovation Institute
The Nuclear Innovation Institute (NII) is Canada’s leading-edge nuclear applied research facility and centre of excellence for talent development and business innovation. Located on the shores of Lake Huron alongside the world’s largest nuclear operator, Bruce Power, the NII will bring together industry and municipal leaders to use their collective expertise and knowledge to identify opportunities to advance new technologies and applications in the nuclear industry, related industries and the municipal sector.