14th EU-Canada Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee meeting
Participants to the 14th EU-Canada JSTCC meeting in Ottawa
The 14th meeting of the EU-Canada Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation Committee (JSTCC) took place in Ottawa on 20 March 2018 under the co-chairmanship of Ms Maria Cristina Russo, European Commission Director of International Cooperation for Research and Innovation, and Ms Nathalie Béchamp, Director-General for Investment and Innovation, Global Affairs Canada. The JSTCC provides a regular opportunity to exchange views on some of the most important joint science and technology endeavours and coordinate, where appropriate, Canadian and European research and innovation efforts for mutual benefit.
The EU-Canada bilateral relationship entered a new era with the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). These two ground-breaking agreements will enhance our economic and political relations, and strengthen cooperation and dialogue across a range of policy areas including research and innovation.
The two sides also acknowledged the importance of the recent research and innovation (R&I) policy developments in Canada and in the European Union. In Europe, the next three years of the Horizon 2020 programme will see an investment of over €30 billion in research and innovation, including €1 billion for international cooperation. In that context, a number of calls for “flagship” projects specifically encourage the participation of Canadian researchers. In Canada, the recent Budget 2018 made an historic investment of $6 billion over five years in science, research and innovation that will support people, the next generation of researchers and scholars. Key elements will provide more opportunities for international cooperation between Canada and the European Union.
Both sides are committed to reinforcing the links between industry and research and fostering the innovation process to stimulate job creation, economic growth and social welfare. The chairs acknowledged that Horizon 2020 is an important vehicle for EU-Canada cooperation and underlined the strengthened opportunities for cooperation with Canadian partners in the 2018-2020 work programme.
The delegations agreed to continue their strong cooperation in key areas like marine, health, aeronautics and agricultural research. In addition, reconciling sustainable management of the fragile Arctic environment with economic interests requires policies and innovative solutions with a firm knowledge base across scientific and geographical boundaries. International cooperation in the Arctic is therefore a priority. These key research areas will be supported by Horizon 2020 over the next three years.
The meeting also confirmed the mobility of Canadian and European researchers as an important area to develop further. There is potential to enhance the participation of Canadian researchers in the teams of European Research Council grantees. Such mobility gives researchers the opportunity to gain international experience and enables knowledge exchange at the highest level, providing an excellent basis for scientific progress on both sides.
Both sides also identified possible new areas for cooperation, including migration. It is planned that the Canadian side will support researchers participating in migration related calls under Horizon 2020 in 2018 and 2019.
The parties agreed to continue developing an appropriate framework conditions needed to optimize cooperation among researchers from Canada and the European Union. The committee encouraged the EU-Canada Task Force on programme level cooperation to coordinate programmes and funding in areas of common interest with a view to developing a broad, strategic approach to the research and innovation partnership. Both sides agreed to review progress on a regular basis in advance of the next meeting of the Joint Steering Committee in 2019.
In conclusion, both delegations reaffirmed the importance of Science, Technology and Innovation cooperation in addressing shared economic, environmental and societal challenges within the context of the overall EU-Canada relations.
New opportunities for Canadian researchers to join ERC funded teams
Today Commissioner Carlos Moedas and Dr Ted Hewitt, President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council have signed an Implementing Arrangement under the framework of the S&T Agreement between the EU and Canada which has been negotiated between the European Research Council (ERC) and the Tri-agency Institutional Programs Secretariat (TIPS).
This Arrangement intends to provide opportunities for Canadian researchers to join temporarily ERC funded teams, located in Europe. The participant researchers are grant holders from the Research Chairs programme or the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships programmes and will be selected by the Canadian side.
This is the 9th arrangement signed with a key R&I partner country after: USA, Korea, Argentina, Japan, China, South Africa, Mexico and most recently, Brazil.
ERC represents excellence in science and can be proud of having supported 6 Nobel prizes in 9 years, in addition to funding over 6500 ambitious projects in different fields
An "Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Canada and the European Community" has been in place since 1996, and it is not limited in time. The responsibility for the S&T cooperation dialogue lies with the EU-Canada Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC), managed by the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission.
The main areas of S&T cooperation with Canada are Health, ICT and Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology. The latter has even grown to become a best practice for international cooperation, with the development of a very successful project-twinning mechanism which is spreading to other geographical areas and to other research themes (e.g. energy).
According to a survey of over 5 000 top international scientists (The State of Science and Technology in Canada, 2012), Canada ranks 4th in the world for the quality of its scientific research. Although it has a population of less than 0.5 % of the world's population, Canada produces 4.1 % of the world's research papers and ranks 6th in the world when it comes to how often Canadian research papers are cited by other scientists.
Canadian participation in Framework Programme projects has gone through an important increase in the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Innovation - FP7 (2007-2013). Canada ranks eighth among third countries involved in selected FP7 proposals. In the FP7 "Cooperation" Specific Programme, Canadians are the most active in the thematic areas of Food, Agriculture and Biotechnology; Health, Environment, and Transport. They also have a high success rate in the "People" Specific Programme – the Marie Curie Actions. There are now more Canadian researchers in FP7 projects than in FP4 (1994-98), FP5 (1998-2002) and FP6 (2002-2006) combined.
Under Horizon 2020, the EU's Framework Programme for 2014-2020, there are already 41 Canadian participations in 36 signed grant agreements (up to 03/05/2016).
The project builds on two previous ERA-Can projects, promotes cooperation between the European Union and Canada in science, technology and innovation through policy dialogues, research exchanges and information sharing about funding opportunities.
ERA-Can+ is structured in three pillars:
- Enrich the EU-Canada policy dialogue to identify areas of mutual interest, develop implementation plans and analyse Canadian and European policies, programmes and project participation
- Stimulate transatlantic research and innovation cooperation to raise awareness of the opportunities available and provide support to researchers and innovators
- Enhance coordination between programme owners, sector leaders and networks in Europe and Canada, to support the Canadian network of National Contact Points (NCP) and prepare a feasibility study for a joint EU Member State Liaison Office in Ottawa
DG Research and Innovation
Unit RTD C2 – North America, Latin America and the Caribbean
Telephone: (+32) 229 90023
Luigi Scarpa de Masellis (S&T)
150, Metcalfe street - Suite 1900
K2P 1P1 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: (+1) 613 238 6464
Telephone: (+1) 613 238 5191
Fax: (+1) 613 563 6359
Luigi Scarpa de Masellis