OTTAWA, Ontario, February 8, 2012–International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTPCanada), today announced seven industry-led Canada-China R&D projects that will strengthen Canada’s ties with the world’s second largest economy and create new commercial opportunity for participating firms.

These partnerships will enable the joint development of new innovations in life sciences, energy and environment, and introduce novel Canadian technologies into the rapidly growing Chinese market. Downstream, the outcomes of these initiatives promise to stimulate commercialization, job creation and increased Canadian business with China.

The bilateral projects are jointly managed and funded by ISTPCanada, a national organization mandated by the Government of Canada to develop and implement R&D collaboration programs with key trade partners including China, India and Brazil, and the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of the People’s Republic of China. These initiatives draw on $2 million from ISTPCanada and more than $1.9 million from MOST, and leverage this investment by a factor of 3-to-1. They are expected to generate a minimum ten-fold return and more than $100 million in new revenues for participating Canadian firms.

The selected projects emerged from a rigorous expert evaluation process that assessed more than 180 Expressions of Interest. The large number of applications reinforces the growing demand for bilateral R&D collaboration, and potential for even greater industry-led Canada-China S&T cooperation. The seven projects bring together more than 90 scientists and engineers from 13 companies, 10 universities and other technology-based organizations. Anticipated innovations include: a new diagnostic test for kidney injuries; a seawater desalination system powered by wind energy; more cost-effective and efficient solar power technology; and an early warning system to help prevent toxic blue-green algae from infecting our waters.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the projects today in Beijing, China, as he and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao witnessed the signing of new joint initiatives and the renewal of existing bilateral initiatives between the two countries in the areas of energy, natural resources, education, science and technology, and agriculture. “The rapidly increasing commercial, cultural and scholastic ties between our two countries are creating new jobs and economic growth that are benefitting Canadian families, businesses and communities,” said Prime Minister Harper. “The agreements being signed today, in such a wide range of areas, are further testimony that we are taking relations to the next level and further strengthening our strategic partnership.”

“Global S&T partnerships are powerful levers that influence economic relations and commerce with key trade partners such as China, one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world,” said Dr. Henri Rothschild, President and CEO of ISTPCanada. “As Canada strives to build stronger relationships with emerging economies, these projects will bring Canadian firms onto the playing field of an economic superpower. By bringing our unique strengths to bear, these joint initiatives can lead to increased trade, business and jobs for Canadians.”

“The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) is committed to fostering socio-economic growth by coordinating basic, applied and front research in key technologies,” said Dr. Qiming Wang, Science Counsellor, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Canada. “Building on the 10 Canada-China R&D initiatives co-funded by MOST to date, we are confident these projects will generate new discoveries and commercial applications in energy, environment, life sciences and ICT that increase China’s competitiveness in the global economy.”

“These bilateral R&D projects directly support the objectives established by the Canada-China Joint S&T Committee,” said Dr. Alain Beaudet, MD, PhD, Chair of the Canada-China Joint Committee, and President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). “It demonstrates how we are taking action on shared S&T priorities that benefit both countries, and capitalizing on the scientific and commercial opportunities presented by Sino-Canadian cooperation.”

“The funding provided by ISTPCanada will enable MRF Geosystems and SuperMap Software Co. of China to integrate our technologies and develop an advanced GIS system that offers improved data accessibility and higher user productivity,” said Gary Zhang, President, MRF Geosystems. “Given the high demand for GIS applications across many industry sectors, we anticipate licensing sales and implementation services will generate more than $90 million in new revenues for both companies. It will also help to create new jobs in Canada and China.”

“Leveraging funding from ISTPCanada and MOST, we look forward to working with Shanghai Chang Zheng Hospital and Alpha Biotechnology Co. to develop a cost-effective diagnostic kit for Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) that enables earlier and more accurate detection and diagnosis,” said Dr. Ian Q. Li, President and CSO of ATGCell. “The commercialization of this kit promises to generate new revenue streams for ATGCell and our Chinese collaborators, and foster new expertise that can be applied to other commercially-oriented diagnostic projects.”

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Media inquiries:
Sonya Shorey
Senior Communications Strategist
Cell: 613.851.9416
sonyashorey@istpcanada.ca

About International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTPCanada): ISTPCanada develops and implements R&D collaboration programs under Science and Technology (S&T) cooperation agreements between Canada and its key trading partners, including India, China, Brazil and Israel. Mandated by the Government of Canada through the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, ISTPCanada facilitates the development of new R&D partnerships between Canadian companies, research organizations and their counterparts in other countries; invests in cooperative research projects with high commercial potential; and stimulates early-stage partnership development activity. In doing so, ISTPCanada develops new models of bilateral and multilateral collaboration that enhance Canada’s competitiveness through the increased use of international research-based alliances, and helps to strengthen Canada’s overall S&T, economic, trade and political relations with other nations. For additional information, please visit: www.istpcanada.ca.

About China’s Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST): The Ministry leads the development, management and implementation of Science and Technology (S&T) strategic plans and policies and regulations for the People’s Republic of China. With responsibility for the development of the National Basic Research Program, the National High-Tech R&D Program and the S&T Enabling Program, MOST aims to serve socioeconomic growth by coordinating basic research, frontier technology research, research on social sciences, and other key technologies. Since 2007, ISTPCanada and MOST have co-funded 10 Canada-China R&D projects with an emphasis on agriculture, energy, environment, life sciences and biotechnology, information and communications technologies and nanotechnology. For additional information, please visit http://www.most.gov.cn/eng/.