Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs
DG GROW Newsroom

Commissioner Bieńkowska visits Canada to strengthen technology and innovation cooperation through clusters

Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs visited Canada to promote the cooperation of business networks – also called clusters – between the EU and Canada. As part of this objective, Commissioner Bieńkowska and Mr Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, took part in the signing ceremony of an administrative agreement on cluster cooperation, which was formally signed by the European Commission and the Canadian Department of Industry.

The agreement will help SMEs to pursue transatlantic trade opportunities and foster innovation-led growth on both sides by facilitating linkages and exchange of best practices between EU and Canadian cluster representatives and policy-makers.

The EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), which provisionally applies since September 2017, offers a favourable environment for such an enhanced cooperation. Ahead of the visit Commissioner Bieńkowska said: “The EU and Canada are natural partners for clusters. Companies from the two sides can pool their knowledge and innovation potential to build a strong industrial foundation. We have an interest to intensify our cooperation in a more strategic and sustainable manner – not the least to fully use the opportunities offered by CETA.” By boosting trade between the partners, CETA will create jobs, growth and new opportunities for businesses. CETA has some of the strongest commitments ever included in a trade deal to promote labour rights, environmental protection and sustainable development.

The signature of the administrative agreement took place during the 3-days EU-Canada cluster matchmaking event in Toronto. 26 European clusters from 16 countries, together with companies, participated together with Canada’s 5 innovation superclusters and other key counterparts.

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