Government of Canada to support scientific collaboration in the Middle East

News Release

Canada to assist group building a third-generation synchrotron in Jordan

May 15, 2017 – Ottawa – Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to fostering international scientific collaboration. By working together, scientists build upon each other’s work and make discoveries that might not otherwise be possible.

That’s why the Government of Canada is pleased to announce that Canada has joined the Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) as an observer state. Officially opening in Jordan on May 16, 2017, SESAME is a co-operative venture designed on the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) model and is the Middle East’s first major international research centre.

Synchrotrons use high-energy electrons to produce extremely bright light that can be separated out into different wavelengths for researchers to use, like a giant microscope, to study the structure and chemistry of materials. Synchrotrons have numerous research applications, including developing new materials and new drugs, improving crop yields and preserving cultural artifacts.

The SESAME project promises to be an important hub of innovation in the Middle East that will generate economic opportunities and promote regional prosperity. The Government of Canada is committed to engaging with regional partners in a range of sectors to promote enhanced dialogue and sustained peace.

As an observer state, Canada will contribute its globally recognized expertise, participate in SESAME’s governance and help build SESAME’s research capabilities.


“International collaboration between scientists and researchers is critically important to any scientific study. I am proud that the Government of Canada is doing its part to foster scientific partnerships that transcend national borders.”

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science

“In addition to being a catalyst for scientific innovation, the SESAME project demonstrates that countries in the Middle East can work together to advance science through cooperation in multilateral institutions.”

– The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick Facts

  • SESAME will foster scientific and technological excellence in the Middle East and neighbouring countries by enabling world-class scientific research. In the process it will build scientific and cultural bridges and contribute to a culture of peace through international cooperation in science.

  • Full members of SESAME include Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey. There are 16 observer states, including China, the European Union, the United States and now Canada.

  • The Government of Canada has committed $1.6 billion over three years to support partners in the Middle East as they respond to the impacts of the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq.


Follow Minister Duncan on social media.
Twitter: @ScienceMin
Instagram: sciencemin

Stéfanie Power
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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