Crop researchers at NRC and Agriculture Canada in 1950 teamed up to create an edible and nutritional rapeseed plant.
The new plant, renamed canola, reduced the Prairies' dependence on wheat crops and created a multibillion-dollar export industry.
In 1975, the NRC built the first cesium atomic clock that could run continuously without calibration from an external clock.
At the time, it was the most accurate and stable in the world.
Portable bomb sniffer
While monitoring pesticide drift from aerial spraying against the spruce budworm in the 1960s, NRC chemist Lorne Elias designed a portable device that could "sniff" pesticide vapours using gas chromatography.
In the 1980s, Mr. Elias created a portable explosives vapour detector called the EVD-1 for weapons screening.
In the late 1960s, NRC's Nestor Burtnyk developed a new technique that would revolutionize the way animators create 3-D graphics.
His work in developing "key-frame animation" techniques was first used in artist Peter Foldes' 1971 National Film Board film Metadata.
The technology laid the groundwork for sophisticated computer animation now widely used in movies.