ERA-Can+ Consortium Meeting and Advisory Board Meeting
Following the invitation of the ERA-Can+ coordinating organisation Agenzia della Ricerca Europea (APRE), the ERA-Can+ consortium was meeting in Rome on 9 June with the European Commission to give updates on the achievements of the first 9 project months and to discuss the direction of future endeavours. The successful organisation by the Canadian partners of 14 Information Sessions - at least one in every single Canadian province – was highlighted. The sessions were seen as very important in order to raise the awareness among Canadian researchers and research entities of existing opportunities in Horizon 2020 and in collaborating with Europe. In order to provide information material beyond personal meetings a Guide for Canadians to H2020 as well as a Guide for Europeans to Canadian STI programmes are being published, and the ERA-Can+ online helpdesk complements the service with personalised answers. Within the next couple of months recommendations will be worked out for the Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC) meeting, which will take place in November 2014 in Canada, a Webinar on Horizon 2020 will be held and recorded, and there will be Information Sessions on the European side. To spread ERA-Can+ outputs, era-can.net and other communication channels will be regularly fed.
The following day, on 10 June, the first meeting was held with the Advisory Board of the ERA-Can+ project in order to include an outside perspective and benefit from expert feedback. Thematic priorities of ERA-Can+, the involvement of industry (in particular SMEs), and communication were among the topics discussed.
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.
ERA-Can+:The project (2013-2016) 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: (1) 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. (2) Stimulate transatlantic research and innovation cooperation to raise awareness of the opportunities available and provide support to researchers and innovators. (3) 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.
ERA-CAN: ERA-Can aims to promote cooperation in science and technology between Canadians and Europeans by improving the quality of information and assistance available to Canadians, in all sectors, on the programmes, networking tools and research activities of FP7.
Knowledge based bio-economy (KBBE): Since 2010, international cooperation between the European Commission and Canada on Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology mostly took place within the International KBBE Forum, which is a multi-partner platform between Australia, Canada, New Zeeland and the European Commission for a knowledge based bio-economy.
Health: There is EU and Canadian participation in international health research consortia (knockout mouse, human micro-biome, cancer genomics, human epigenome and rare diseases). There is a proposal for new international activities in brain injury. Future collaboration is to be explored in obesity and diabetes, health care and personalised medicine.
ICT represents one of the most long-lasting partnerships between EU and Canada, going back as far as FP4. Canada remains a key partner and beneficiary under the ICT theme of FP7, with 24 approved projects with the participation of 17 Canadian organisations. The selected FP7 ICT activities include collaborative research projects in fields such as accessible and inclusive ICT, Future Internet, digital libraries, networks of the future, and photonics.
Enterprise Europe Network (EEN): In December 2012, Canada became a member of the EEN, which has as a mission to help small companies make the most out of the business opportunities that exist in the European Union. The Canadian EEN Consortium is led by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) – Canada's largest trade and industry association. The main objectives of EEN in Canada are to:
- Improve access by Canadian SMEs to partnering opportunities with EU SMEs;
- Improve Canadian SME access to EU Funding programmes (e.g. FP7/H2020);
- Increase awareness of Canadian companies regarding doing business in Europe;
- Provide Canadian SMEs with access to financing and services in Canada to support business development and technology partnerships;
- Support integration of SMEs into international supply chains.
DG Research and Innovation
Policy Officer - Research and innovation relations with USA and Canada
Unit RTD C2 – North America, Latin America and the Caribbean
Telephone: (+32) 229 95335
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