Canada and California Launch Science and Technology Initiatives Worth $1 Million

(No. 53 - February 3, 2010 - 10:30 a.m. ET) The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade, today announced 15 research initiatives, worth a total of $1 million, under the Canada-California Strategic Innovation Partnership (CCSIP), an important element of Canada’s science and technology agenda.

“Today’s partnership announcement will help move ideas from the laboratory to the real world, and will contribute to a cleaner environment and improved healthcare,” said Minster Van Loan. “Our joint projects will lead to advances in many fields, from carbon storage and new biofuels to energy-efficient computers and better border crossings.”

Of the 15 initiatives, nine are collaborative events and six are research and development projects. They involve 21 Canadian universities in partnership with eight University of California campuses. The universities are contributing $1 million, with half coming from Canadian institutions and the other half from Californian institutions. The 15 projects were selected from 45 submissions in a first round of proposals.

“This collaborative partnership is great news for both California and Canada. These projects will help speed up progress in many key areas important to both California and Canada, including climate change, renewable energy, infectious disease control and stem cell research,” said Californian governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “CCSIP will bring together some of the best researchers and innovators to find solutions that will protect our environment while growing our economy.”

The CCSIP, which was inaugurated in 2006, is a catalyst for collaborative research, development and delivery between two innovative jurisdictions. Its first call for proposals was administered by the University of California’s Office of the President and by International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTPCanada), an arm’s‑length agency that facilitates the development of new research partnerships between Canadian companies and research organizations and their counterparts in other countries.

“The funding of these novel and mutually beneficial collaborative projects reflects the important role played by both governments in promoting world-class research and innovation,” said Henri Rothschild, President and Chief Executive Officer of ISTPCanada. “These bilateral initiatives promise to provide a strategic agenda for enhanced cooperation between Canada and California in priority areas, accelerate the delivery of research results and help to stimulate our economies.”

“The CCSIP offers a valuable framework for international research cooperation, beginning with a strong innovation partner—Canada,” said Mark Yudof, President of the University of California. “In these challenging times, cooperation is essential to broaden the impact of our research, and accelerate innovation that stimulates economic growth in California and Canada.”

The approved projects will involve 425 personnel at the universities.

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A backgrounder follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Monika Bujalska
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade
613-992-9304

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

 

 

Backgrounder – New Canada-California Strategic Innovation Partnership Initiatives

Inaugurated in 2006, the Canada-California Strategic Innovation Partnership (CCSIP) is a catalyst for collaborative research and development and the delivery of research results involving two jurisdictions that emphasize innovation. The organization’s first call for proposals was made in October 2008 during the third CCSIP Summit at Montreal’s McGill University. Of the 45 submissions received, 15 were selected. Details of the selected proposals follow.

Six CCSIP Research and Development Proposals

1. Canada-California Consortium for a Zero Carbon Internet

Lead partners: McGill University; University of California, San Diego

Other participants: Concordia University; École Polytechnique de Montréal; École de technologie supérieure de l’Université du Québec ; University of New Brunswick; University of Ottawa; University of Toronto; University of Waterloo

Summary: The partners will lead the research on green information and communications technologies that improve energy efficiency and reduce the impact of carbon emissions on climate change.

2. Ecoinformatics for Biospheric Carbon Sequestration

Lead partners: University of Alberta; University of California Davis

Summary: This initiative will explore opportunities for developing an ecoinformatics network for biospheric carbon sequestration. Biological activity comprises the largest portion of carbon emissions to the atmosphere, yet is inadequately represented in existing carbon markets. Until this dichotomy is addressed, the carbon market cannot fully assess carbon’s market value, leading to inaccurate market signals and reducing the effectiveness of carbon policies.

3. Ultra-Efficient Joint High-Performance Computing Data Centre for California and Canada

Lead partners: McGill University; University of California, San Diego

Other participants: Hydro-Québec; Rumsey Engineers Inc. (San Francisco)

Summary: This project will undertake the design of an ultra-efficient data centre for high-performance computing applications. The centre will be built in Quebec to both maximize energy savings due to climate and minimize the carbon footprint, because of the ready availability of hydroelectric power. The project will also develop the business model to co-locate future Californian facilities in the centre.

4. Bioimaging Technologies for Enhanced Health Care

Lead partners: McMaster University; University of California, Los Angeles

Other participants: University of Toronto, McGill University, University of Waterloo

Summary: This partnership will facilitate new collaborative research to rapidly translate biomedical technologies into bedside practices. Researchers in the partnership will provide a repository of expertise that can be readily exploited by established and start-up industry partners to accelerate and expand their product lines.

5. Green Energy Canada-California Consortium

Lead partners: McGill University; University of California Davis

Other participants: University of Toronto, Concordia University, École Polytechnique de Montréal, University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Manitoba, University of Saskatchewan Université de Sherbrooke, University of Western Ontario

Summary: Three of the great challenges of the 21st century are renewable and sustainable fuel supplies, climate change and global food security. Biofuel research and development will enhance our ability to manage these challenges.

6. Toward Energy-Efficient CO2 Capture

Lead partners: University of Waterloo; University of California, Berkeley

Summary: This proposal aims to set up a joint California-Canada research centre for CO2 capture. This centre will focus on developing new strategies and materials for selective CO2 capture based on molecule-specific chemical interactions.

Nine CCSIP Collaborative Events

1. A Role for a Technology Community Within a Research Field

Lead partners: University of Toronto, University of California, Berkeley

Summary: This project will establish a community for technology developers in the learning sciences, a relatively new scientific discipline that examines learning in all its forms. Research in the field addresses a wide range of questions related to pedagogical models, classroom-based and online learning environments, and the role of the teacher.

2. Digitally Merged Environments

Lead partners: McGill University; University of California, San Diego

Other participants: École de technologie supérieure de l’Université du Québec; Université de Montréal; University of Alberta; University of Manitoba; University of Victoria

Summary: This project will hold a collaborative event in next-generation digital media with the objective of forming a research and development consortium for the production of systems that create digitally merged environments, both actual and virtual.

3. The Canada-California Digital Learning Network for Dentistry

Lead partners: University of British Columbia; University of California, San Francisco

Other participants: University of Alberta, University of Saskatchewan

Summary: The proposed collaborative symposium will encourage the development of technological tools that will allow dental personnel to participate in digital study clubs while working in their private practices.

4. Canadensys-University of California, Berkeley Biodiversity Databases Collaboration

Lead partners: Université de Montréal; University of California, Berkeley

Other participants: University of Alberta, University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, University of Manitoba, University of Saskatchewan

Summary: These workshops will pool resources between Canadian and American biodiversity informatics initiatives, leading to more efficient digitization and sharing of primary biodiversity data, and training of highly qualified personnel in this rapidly developing research field.

5. Joint Symposium on Biophotonics in Infectious Disease

Lead partners: University of Toronto; University of California Davis

Summary: The proponents will organize bilateral workshops to investigate the best approaches for research and development of new light-based tools and techniques for the improved characterization, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases.

6. Marshalling Science for Global Health: A Bilateral Workshop

Lead partners: McGill University; University of California, San Francisco

Other participants: Queen’s University; Université de Sherbrooke

Summary: Marshalling experts from academia, industry and public health, the partners will identify the available technologies needed to build a global health network capable of assisting in the formation of multidisciplinary teams to address global health challenges and facilitate health advances in low- and middle‑income settings.

7. Connecting Vehicle Systems, Border Crossings and Users

Lead partners: Université de Sherbrooke; University of California, Berkeley

Summary: The partners will host two focused bilateral workshops, one in Canada and one in California, to address the utility and benefits of wireless connectivity at border crossings.

8. Novel Green Technologies for Producing Organic Electronics

Lead partners: University of Western Ontario; University of California, Berkeley

Summary: The goal of this proposal is to build an enterprise of green manufacturing of solution-based organic electronics. Combining their strengths, Canada and California could be the most powerful global players in the rapidly expanding market of organic electronics, which is expected to reach $300 billion per year by 2025.

9. Strategic Partnership in Core Sunlighting Solutions

Lead partners: University of British Columbia; University of California Davis

Summary: The specific objectives of this partnership include assembling innovative teams to develop new core sunlighting systems, identifying strategic industrial partnerships to quickly implement demonstration systems, and establishing a framework for a long-term commercialization strategy.