(June 22, 2012 — Ottawa, Ontario) Canadian companies will soon gain more access to international markets with EUREKA – a European-based network raising productivity and competitiveness of business through technology. In an agreement signed today in Budapest, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) has been designated the country’s National Project Coordinator Office for EUREKA.

“Our government’s top priority is the economy, creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadian workers, businesses and families,” said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology). “Through our participation in the EUREKA Initiative, Canadian companies will be better positioned to access international markets and accelerate technology development leading to commercialization.””   

EUREKA focuses on coordinating existing national funding for industrial innovation. For small and medium-sized enterprises, the NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program will play a key role in advising, partnering and supporting companies, as well as providing funding where appropriate. The goal is to secure networking opportunities between Canadian and EUREKA firms, to develop joint research and development projects, and gain access to international markets.

“The EUREKA Initiative welcomes Canada as an Associate country,” said Prof. Dr. Zoltan Cséfalvay, the Hungarian Minister of State for National Economy who signed the agreement on behalf of the Hungarian EUREKA Chairmanship. “We expect this association will result in the development of mutually beneficial, innovative R&D projects and will strengthen the competitiveness of both European and Canadian economies.””

Canada’s EUREKA National Office will provide Canadian innovators with a single contact point for EUREKA. Through its network of partners, the National Office will facilitate the start-up and operation of EUREKA projects and lead companies through their next stages of development. Once a project is approved, the internationally recognized EUREKA label adds value by endowing participants with a competitive edge in their dealings with financial, technical and commercial partners.

EUREKA’s market-driven, business-led industrial R&D projects bring together participants from governments, industry, research institutes and universities to develop innovative products and services with tangible results and visible benefits. The EUREKA Network has 41 Members: 27 European Union (EU) countries, 12 other European countries, Israel, and the European Commission (EC). South Korea and now Canada are Associated Countries.

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