April 13, 2009 (9:00 a.m. EDT)
No. 98

Canada and China Announce New Joint Science and Technology Initiatives

The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and Wan Gang, China’s Minister of Science and Technology, today announced the launch of six new research initiatives in science and technology (S&T) worth a total of $6.87 million, to be provided by Canada.

“Scientific research plays a critical role in our economy,” said Minister Day. “By funding these important research projects, we are preparing both Canada and China for tomorrow.”

The six projects cover a wide variety of fields, from wastewater treatment and climate change to health care and wireless technology. They bring together the leading researchers from the private and public sectors in both countries.

“These projects encourage the important partnership between universities and the private sector, and close the distance between the laboratory and the marketplace,” added Minister Day.

Canada’s funding for the projects comes from the International Science and Technology Partnerships Program, a $20-million, five-year Government of Canada program that funds S&T agreements with China and three other countries (Brazil, India and Israel). It is administered by ISTPCanada, a not-for-profit organization that uses a peer review process to select proposals for funding.

“These new Canada-China research projects, along with the other initiatives already announced, are an excellent start for what promises to be a magnificent platform for expanding overall bilateral cooperation between our countries’ science and innovation communities,” said Henri Rothschild, President and Chief Executive Officer of ISTPCanada. “These top-tier proposals were selected from a large pool of almost 350. This reflects the huge interest that Canadians attach to the bilateral program with China. The research results will lead to joint commercial ventures and expanded economic cooperation.”

Under the Canada-China Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement, signed in January 2007, the two countries have chosen to focus on four sectors:

  • energy, including fuel cells;
  • environment, life sciences and biotechnology;
  • agricultural foods and bioproducts; and
  • information and communications technologies and nanotechnology.

The agreement led to the first round of Canada-China projects, announced in May 2008 and involving 20 projects worth more than $11 million.

For further information, consult the following website:Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada - International Trade: Minister Day visits Japan and China

A backgrounder follows.

- 30 -

For further information and high-resolution pictures of Minister Day’s visit to China, media representatives may contact:

Mélisa Leclerc
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-6186

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000

Backgrounder

New Canada and China Joint Science and Technology Initiatives

Canada is providing $6.87 million for the following joint research projects in science and technology (S&T) under the International Science and Technology Partnerships Program. This $20-million, five-year Government of Canada program funds S&T agreements with China and three other countries: Brazil, India and Israel. The program is administered by ISTPCanada, a not-for-profit organization that uses a peer review process to select proposals for funding.

Project:
Develop RoboNurse, a powered lift that can safely move hospital patients, providing a safer environment for staff and patients.

Partners:

  • Canada: Toronto Rehabilitation Institute; A.J. Hart Enterprises Inc., Mississauga; Quanser Consulting Inc., Markham.
  • China: Shanghai Jiao Tong University; Shandong Relax Health Industry Co. Ltd., Qingdao.

Project:
Monitor the effects of climate change on grasslands in the Canadian Prairie region and Tibet, and develop strategies to adapt to changes.

Partners:

  • Canada: University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon; Western Heritage Services Inc., Saskatoon; Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre, Swift Current.
  • China: Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, Beijing; Meteorological Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region, Lhasa; Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Science, Beijing; Pasco China Corporation, Beijing.

Project:
Develop a wireless communications system to monitor equipment in nuclear power plants and other nuclear and industrial facilities.

Partners:

  • Canada: University of Western Ontario, London; Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, Chalk River.
  • China: University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, Chengdu; China Silian Instrument Group Co. Ltd., Chongqing.

Project:
Test all lead compounds for their use as inhibitors of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1).

Partners:

  • Canada: McGill University, Montreal; Ambrilia Biopharma Inc., Montreal.
  • China: Institute of Medicinal Biotechnology, Beijing.

Project:
Establish a pilot project in China to test the commercial viability of advanced pulsed arc electrohydraulic discharge to treat municipal and ship ballast wastewater, and also test an online fibre optic monitoring system.

Partners:

  • Canada: McMaster University, Hamilton; Hitachi Plant Canada, Mississauga; IVG Fiber, Toronto.
  • China: Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan; Guangdong J-Tech. Inc., Guangzhou.

Project:
Research and test a tool that can evaluate the interactions between high-voltage transmission lines and nearby equipment to detect and resolve electromagnetic interference.

Partners:

  • Canada: Safe Engineering Services and Technologies Ltd., Montreal.
  • China: Beijing Jiahua Safe Engineering Services & Technologies Ltd.; Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu.