February 13, 2013 Ottawa, Ontario; and Tel Aviv, Israel: The Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF) today launched the Canada-Israel Energy Science and Technology Fund (the CIEST Fund) to facilitate the bilateral development and commercialization of innovative technologies and processes applied to the energy sector.

This fund complements the Canada-Israel Innovation Initiative managed by MATIMOP, the executive agency of the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), and the National Research Council Canada (NRC) and creates new mechanisms for two-way R&D cooperation in energy. It will promote the sustainable development of unconventional oil and gas resources, and applications that address environmental challenges. The fund will also encourage scientific projects that aim to harvest new renewable energy sources of interest to both countries. The emerging bilateral partnerships could yield groundbreaking new technologies that enable Canadian and Israeli innovators to capitalize on the evolving global unconventional oil and gas market.

The Government of Canada is committing $5 million to the CIEST Fund over the next three years with matching funds to be allocated by OCS in Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor on a project-by-project basis. NSERC will fund the Canadian academic portion (researchers from universities and colleges) in partnership with Canadian industry through Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) and Applied Research and Development (ARD) grants. Leveraging investment from both countries, the fund is expected to generate up to $40 million in collaborative R&D.

Managed by CIIRDF in Canada and OCS/MATIMOP in Israel, the CIEST Fund will enable Canadian and Israeli companies and academic researchers to cooperate on the development of new innovations that address shared energy priorities. The primary focus of the fund is unconventional oil and gas with approximately 75 percent targeted to initiatives in this field. Other areas of focus include: energy efficiency in buildings, communities, industry and transportation; bioenergy and clean electricity generation; and the electrification of transportation.

CIIRDF will facilitate bilateral industry-academic collaboration in energy by establishing R&D consortia, and maximizing the capabilities, resources and expertise of all contributing Canadian and Israeli partners. It will launch the first CIEST Fund Call for Proposals in April 2013.
The fund will capitalize on many synergies between the two nations. Israel is home to hundreds of technology-based SMEs with internationally recognized expertise in materials, intelligent systems, water technologies, robotics and unmanned systems, sensors, imaging and other ‘enabling’ technologies. Canada has the third largest crude oil reserves in the world with 97 percent based in the Alberta oil sands, and the country is expected to become the fourth-largest oil producer in the world by 2035. With a national energy industry and extensive technological knowhow in unconventional oil and gas, Canada is well positioned as an ideal technology partner.

The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, and Dr. Uzi Landau, Israel’s Minister of Energy and Water Resources, announced the creation of the CIEST Fund on October 29, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The fund is a direct outcome of the Statement of Cooperation in the Energy Sector signed between Canada and Israel in June 2012.

“This initiative encourages the development of innovative technologies that will enable the responsible development of unconventional oil and gas resources,” said Minister Oliver. “It will create jobs, generate economic opportunities and further demonstrates the important relationship between our two countries.”

“CIESTF will combine Israel’s technological and commercialization expertise, and Canadian know-how in unconventional oil and gas, and apply this knowledge to some of our greatest challenges in the energy sector,” said Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist of Israel. “This fund builds on decades of successful Canada-Israel S&T collaboration through CIIRDF. CIESTF will stimulate the development of novel technologies that build our domestic energy industry, and address the global need for innovative energy solutions. This will increase the competitiveness of Israeli firms, and help to position Israel as an emerging leader in clean technology.”

“Drawing on our proven model and 18-year track record in facilitating global technology partnerships, we look forward to forging new Canada-Israel collaborations in the energy sector through the CIEST Fund,” said Dr. Henri Rothschild, President of CIIRDF. “We are pleased to be working with our long-standing partner, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to fund academic collaborators on selected projects. These investments will enable the creation of innovative energy technologies and processes that open-up new markets, customer relationships and export opportunities for Canadian and Israeli firms.”

“With our abundant unconventional resource base and technical expertise, Canada is well positioned to play an important role in meeting the world’s growing energy requirements,” said Dave Collyer, President, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. “Canada-Israel S&T collaboration through this initiative will contribute to accelerating development and application of new technologies that will support responsible resource management and create new market opportunities.”

About the Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF)
The Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF) stimulates and invests in collaborative research and development between private sector companies in Canada and Israel, 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 90 technology partnerships that enabled the joint development and sale of more than 50 products. This has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in economic value for Canadian and Israeli companies over the past decade. This reinforces how Canada-Israel S&T partnerships can be leveraged to open new markets, generate revenues and bolster international trade for collaborators. The foundation promotes the benefits of Canada-Israel R&D collaboration; offers a match-making service to companies; and provides early-stage investment for Canada-Israel R&D that leverages the complementary capabilities, expertise and resources of each partner. For additional information, please visit: www.ciirdf.ca

About Natural Resources Canada Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) seeks to enhance the responsible development and use of Canada’s natural resources and the competitiveness of Canada’s natural resources products. NRCan is an established leader in science and technology in the fields of energy, forests, and minerals and metals that uses expertise in earth sciences to build and maintain an up-to-date knowledge base of Canada’s landmass. NRCan develops policies and programs that enhance the contribution of the natural resources sector to the economy and improve the quality of life for all Canadians. NRCan conducts innovative science in facilities across Canada to generate ideas and transfer technologies. NRCan also represents Canada at the international level to meet the country’s global commitments related to the sustainable development of natural resources. For additional information about NRCan, please visit: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/

About the Office of the Chief Scientist, Israel
The Office of the Chief Scientist [OCS] in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor is charged with execution of government policy for support of industrial R&D. The goal of the OCS is to assist in the development of technology in Israel as a means of fostering economic growth, encouraging technological innovation and entrepreneurship, leveraging Israel’s scientific potential, enhancing the knowledge base of industry in Israel, stimulating high value-added R&D and encouraging R&D collaboration both nationally and internationally.

A variety of ongoing support programs developed and offered by the OCS through MATIMOP (Israeli Industrial Center for R&D) play a major role in enabling Israel to be a key center for high tech entrepreneurship. For additional information, please visit the OCS and MATIMOP websites.
About the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)

NSERC is a federal agency that helps make Canada a country of discoverers and innovators for all Canadians. The agency supports almost 30,000 post-secondary students and postdoctoral fellows in their advanced studies. NSERC promotes discovery by funding approximately 12,000 professors every year and fosters innovation by encouraging over 2,400 Canadian companies to participate and invest in post-secondary research projects. For additional information, please visit: www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca.

About the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) represents companies, large and small, that explore for, develop and produce natural gas and crude oil throughout Canada. CAPP’s member companies produce about 90 per cent of Canada’s natural gas and crude oil. CAPP’s associate members provide a wide range of services that support the upstream crude oil and natural gas industry. Together CAPP’s members and associate members are an important part of a national industry with revenues of about $100 billion-a-year. CAPP’s mission is to enhance the economic sustainability of the Canadian upstream petroleum industry in a safe and environmentally and socially responsible manner, through constructive engagement and
communication with governments, the public and stakeholders in the communities in which we operate. For additional information on CAPP, please visit: www.capp.ca

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Media inquiries
Sonya Shorey, Communications Strategist, CIIRDF; 613.851.9416; sonyashorey@ciirdf.ca

David Provencher, Press Secretary, Office of Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources; 613-996-2007

Media Relations, Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, 613-992-4447