Canada, Israel strengthen scientific ties

From left are Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation president Henri Rothschild, Canadian Minister of State for Science and Technology Gary Goodyear, Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver and Israeli Consul General to Toronto and Western Canada DJ Schneeweiss [Natural Resources Canada photo]

Canada and Israel continue to strengthen their ties in the science and technology sector.

In Toronto, Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver and Minister of State for Science and Technology Gary Goodyear last week put out a request for proposals under the newly created Canada–Israel Energy Science and Technology Fund (CIEST).

The fund will support “high-quality scientific research partnerships,” a ministry statement says. “These collaborations will spur the development of innovative energy technologies and processes to enable the responsible development of unconventional oil and gas resources, including applications to address environmental challenges. They will also consider initiatives on other critical energy sources of interest to both countries.”

This is a three-year initiative that will see Natural Resources Canada contribute $5 million to the new fund, with Israel providing funding “on a project-by-project basis.”

The fund, announced last week, is administered by the Canada–Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation (CIIRDF), established in 1994 to “stimulate and invest” in collaborative research projects between the two countries.

Henri Rothschild, president of CIIRDF, said the fund will “identify Canada-Israel opportunities for research co-operation that apply Israeli world leadership in enabling technologies with Canadian expertise and the [overall] innovation needs of the energy sector.”

According to Natural Resources Canada, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada will fund eligible Canadian academic components of selected CIEST projects “in partnership with Canadian industry through Collaborative Research and Development and Applied Research and Development grants.”

Oliver left for Israel on Monday to meet with business leaders and government officials “to further explore trade and investment opportunities between the two countries,” according to the ministry.