Established in 1916, NRC functioned mainly as an advisory body to government until the early 1930s when new laboratories were established in Ottawa. During the Second World War, NRC grew rapidly as it performed R&D to benefit the Allied effort. NRC was a prime player during the explosion of basic and applied research in science and engineering in the 1950s and 1960s, and played an important role in research focussed on helping industry during the 1970s and 1980s. From the mid-1980s, NRC has placed greater emphasis on partnerships and strategic contributions to technological advancement and wealth creation. Over the years, a number of specialized agencies and services have grown out of NRC, including the Defence Research Board, the National Science Library, the Medical Research Council, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Atomic Energy Canada Ltd., and the Canadian Space Agency.
NRC at a glance
NRC's research institutes and technology centres, located from coast to coast, have national mandates but are integrated regionally. They work with Canadian industry through collaborative research, consortia, special interest groups, and facility-based partnerships.
A diverse national institution
NRC facilities and programs are accessed daily across Canada and around the world. Thousands of scientists, engineers and research organizations are served by NRC's Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) which offers one of the world's largest collections of scientific, technical and medical information, and NRC Research Press, Canada's leading publisher of scientific journals. Many Canadian firms find technology solutions through NRC's Industrial Research Assistance Program , and the Canadian Technology Network (CTN).