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Bilateral innovation

Brazil and Canada to expand R&D collaboration between their firms

Brazil and Canada are to strengthen the bonds between their innovative companies and research institutions. Three calls for proposals released in October and entered into by public institutions of the two countries aim at encouraging partnerships in the field of research and development (R&D). One of the calls, released on October 2 by FAPESP and the International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada Inc (ISTPCanada), aims at encouraging joint São Paulo-Canada projects in the areas of information and communication technology; renewable energy and fuel cells; and life sciences. The projects must involve both São Paulo and Canadian researchers from for-profit enterprises, with the objective of developing innovative and commercially viable products or processes. Researchers from research institutions may also join the project.

Subordinated to the Canadian government, ISTPCanada accelerates the development of new R&D partnerships among Canadian firms, research organizations and the like in other countries and invests in cooperative research projects with major commercial potential. “Cooperating with ISTPCanada expands the opportunities for research and financing available to institutions and firms and promotes science and technology in fundamental sectors of the Brazilian economy,” said Celso Lafer, FAPESP’s president. Henri Rothschild, president of ISTPCanada, highlighted that the call for proposals will allow companies to expand their R&D potential and the resources available for innovation. “This should result in a shorter time to market for new products and services,” he said. According to Carlos Henrique Brito Cruz, FAPESP’s scientific director, the collaborative research studies will leverage experience and knowledge in small São Paulo firms, providing access to the Canadian market and increasing competitiveness. “For larger firms associated with researchers in the state, the call for proposals released by FAPESP and ISTPCanada expands the frontiers of access to the scientific knowledge that is essential for competitiveness and development,” he said.

In addition to the joint call with Fapesp, ISTPCanada released two other public notices as part of a cooperation agreement signed in November 2008 by the then Minister of Science and Technology, Sergio Rezende, and by Canada’s Minister of International Trade, Stockwell Day. The first call for proposals is open to projects from Canadian research institutes and firms with partners anywhere in Brazil. The other public notice provides opportunities for holding workshops, seminars and events in order to enhance bilateral cooperation in science, technology and innovation. “The upcoming projects will strengthen our relations with Brazil in the area of science and technology, as the country has one of the most diversified and fastest growing economies in the world,” stated Stockwell Day, the Canadian minister. “They will also make it easier to develop new technologies capable of yielding real social and economic benefits for the citizens of both countries.” Proposals regarding the three calls should be submitted by November 13.