Address by Minister Van Loan at Signing of Canada-Sweden Science and Technology Memorandum of Understanding

No. 2010/23 - Stockholm, Sweden - May 3, 2010

Check Against Delivery

Thank you for joining us here as we celebrate an important new chapter in Canada-Sweden relations.

In addition to strong trade and investment ties, innovation, science and technology are quickly becoming hallmarks of Canada’s relationship with Sweden.

Our countries have long shared a commitment to innovation. We’ve developed strong research environments, where both the public and private sectors collaborate to move inventions from the research laboratory to the factory floor to the marketplace.

But our commitment to innovation is also a commitment to collaboration.

Over the years, we’ve seen Canadian and Swedish scientists and researchers joining forces to work together in a number of important fields. And today, with this agreement, we’re taking an important new step.

The agreement will make it easier for researchers in both countries to collaborate on leading-edge discoveries—specifically in the area of technology.

By covering life sciences, information and communications technology, and cutting-edge environmental science technologies, this agreement will help to bring together scientists and researchers from both countries to bring innovations to the marketplace.

Today, we are also witnessing two new initiatives that will help bring this agreement to life:

  • a letter of intent between Canada’s MaRS Discovery District, Sweden’s Karolinska Institute and Stockholm Science City to build on their track record of cooperation in life-sciences research and commercialization; and
  • a memorandum of understanding between the University of Toronto and the Karolinska Institute to expand their collaboration in life-sciences research.

Science and technology has an important role to play in a strong economy.

We’ve seen it in Canada—and we’ve seen it here in Sweden. These are two countries that have made the journey from resource-based economies, to economies that increasingly specialize in science, technology and innovation.

By working together, we can take advantage of each other’s expertise, knowledge and facilities, and create tomorrow’s breakthroughs in many areas. I look forward to working with our Swedish partners to build on our great track record of collaboration, and to ensure that innovation, science and technology remain a cornerstone of our partnership.

Thank you.