OTTAWA, Ontario, January 31, 2012 – International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTPCanada), the Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) have joined forces to increase the impact of two R&D collaboration programs, accelerate industrial innovation in Canada, and increase its commercial potential in global markets .

Under a new initiative, the organizations will jointly solicit, evaluate and fund collaborative R&D projects that bring together Canadian companies, academic researchers and their counterparts from partner countries under the International S&T Partnerships Program (ISTPP). These include China, India, Israel and Brazil. These countries represent some of the fastest growing economies in the world, as well as key technology leaders in critical areas of research. Building on a shared commitment to world-class scientific and technological excellence, this ISTPCanada-CIIRDF-NSERC partnership will expand the R&D capabilities of innovators, facilitate access to international markets, and boost commercialization in Canada.

This initiative will leverage proven approaches and existing resources from three national R&D programs: the Global R&D Collaboration Program managed by ISTPCanada and CIIRDF, and NSERC’s Industry-driven Program (Collaborative R&D and Applied R&D grants). Within jointly supported projects, ISTPCanada and CIIRDF will fund the Canadian portion of the global business-to-business component of the collaboration. NSERC will fund the national academic portion (researchers from universities and colleges) in partnership with Canadian-based industry. With a focus on commercially-relevant partnerships, the organizations will target thematic areas where Canada has the potential to be a global leader, and attract and retain top talent. Drawing on complementary mandates and expertise, ISTPCanada, CIIRDF and NSERC will implement an integrated merit-based project evaluation and selection process.

“An innovation in its own right, this partnership agreement builds on the synergies and strengths of three established R&D programs and creates new opportunities for Canadian innovators,” said Dr. Henri Rothschild, President and CEO, ISTPCanada and President of CIIRDF. ”It will extend the reach and impact of these programs by maximizing university participation in industry-led global R&D collaboration. It also increases the leverage on every dollar invested by the Government of Canada in these programs. This accelerates innovation in Canada while delivering greater return to the tax-payer.”

“In today’s global economy, this new initiative will facilitate Canadian academic-business research collaborations linking to international partners,” said Janet Walden, Vice-President of Research Partnership Programs at NSERC. “This partnership leverages Canada’s leading-edge research and will
provide our Canadian research and business sectors with important access to top research and innovation in expanding markets.”

“This agreement provides a template for similar accords with other key partners in Canada’s innovation system,” said Stuart McCormack, Chair of the Board of ISTPCanada. “For example, as life sciences represent a priority area for ISTPCanada, we have already initiated partnership discussions with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). More broadly, we look forward to leveraging this approach to facilitate greater Canada-China R&D collaboration in vaccines and clean automotive transportation as described by the Prime Minister at the 2011 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit.”

“This partnership combines some of the greatest attributes of the ISTPCanada, CIIRDF and NSERC programs, and increases the R&D capacity of participating university researchers,” said Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Waterloo. “It will enable our scientists to work more productively with companies across Canada and around the world, and make greater contributions to their success. The resulting collaboration will open-up new possibilities for learning and discovery, and equip our highly qualified people with the skills required to compete in the global economy.”

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 the Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF)
CIIRDF stimulates collaborative R&D between private sector companies in both countries, with a focus on the commercialization of new technologies. Established in 1994, and recognized as one of the most successful partnership models of its kind, CIIRDF has financed more than 70 bilateral R&D projects engaging over 120 unique Canadian and Israeli companies leading to the joint development, marketing and sales of jointly developed products and services. Initial revenue forecasts are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions for participating Canadian companies alone, reinforcing how Canada-Israel S&T partnerships can be leveraged to open new markets, generate revenues and bolster international trade. CIIRDF promotes the benefits of R&D collaboration; offers a match-making service to companies; and provides early-stage investment for Canada-Israel R&D alliances that leverage the complementary capabilities, expertise and resources of each partner. For additional information, please visit: www.ciirdf.ca

About the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports some 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding more than 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging more than 1,900 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects. For additional information, please visit: www.nserc.gc.ca.

Media inquiries:
Sonya Shorey
Senior Communications Strategist
Cell: 613.851.9416
sonyashorey@istpcanada.ca
Martin Leroux
Media and Public Affairs Officer Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Tel.: 613-943-7618 E-mail: media@nserc-crsng.gc.ca