Scientists at the Canadian Light Source in Saskatoon are reaching out to the Middle East in an effort to get a new synchrotron in that region operating to its fullest potential.

Earlier this month, the Jordan-based synchrotron opened to much fanfare. The work involves scientists from Pakistan, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey.  

Canadian Light Source CEO Rob Lamb and senior strategist Rob Norris find it amazing that so many countries that are sometimes on the opposite side of the political spectrum could find common ground here.

"It's a very interesting view of how science sort of transcends some of the other issues in that part of the world," Lamb told CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning.

Rob Norris

Rob Norris, senior strategist at the Canadian Light Source, says working with scientists in the Middle East may create business opportunities for experts here in Canada. (CBC)

Norris added, "This really enables Canadians to play a bit of a catalytic role, help to bring those scientists together to the table no matter where they are from in the region to focus on doing great science."

Lamb said many people in the region are excited about the work that may be done at the new synchrotron examining the Dead Sea Scrolls, texts that are considered to be of great historical, religious and linguistic significance.  

"Where the synchrotron is built, this is literally within about 100 kilometres of where they discovered these things," he said.

However, just like here in Saskatoon, the synchrotron in Jordan will be used mostly to try to advance areas of agriculture and health. 

For Norris, getting involved in working with the new synchrotron in the Middle East may also open up new business opportunities for companies with experience here.

With files from CBC Radio's Saskatoon Morning