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Canada and Germany celebrate collaborations to innovate for a better future

- Ottawa, Ontario

Supporting international partnerships to advance research and innovation globally

NRC and NSERC representatives celebrate the success of the 2+2 program with the Honourable Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research of the Federal Republic of Germany.
(From left to right) Alfred LeBlanc, Marc Fortin, Honourable Anja Karliczek, Iain Stewart, David Lisk, and Roger Scott-Douglas.

On October 3rd, 2018 — Canada is committed to increasing global collaborations in research and innovation with international agencies to build on shared knowledge and expertise and help solve mutual global challenges.

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, met with her counterpart, the Honourable Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research of the Federal Republic of Germany, during her week-long visit to Canada to discuss and celebrate Canada and Germany's mutual interests in advancing research and innovation for the economic benefit of both countries. Earlier this week, the two Ministers joined other global science leaders at the 46th Carnegie Meeting of Science Ministers in Banff, Alberta to discuss the importance of encouraging the general public to get involved in science.

Canada and Germany have long-lasting cooperation in science and research and, in December 2017, signed a Joint Declaration of Intent to recognize the existing partnerships between both countries and commit to more collaborations on research and development (R&D), and technological innovation initiatives.

As part of this commitment, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) initiated a unique partnership and, in January 2018, launched a successful joint call for proposals on Industry 4.0 and Advanced Manufacturing. The 2+2 model encourages small or medium-sized manufacturing companies in both countries to work together and adopt research being done in universities or research institutes to modernize their facilities and gain economic benefits.

The response to this valuable trilateral partnership has proven to be a worthwhile undertaking. The Call for Proposals generated immense interest from the research community and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Canada and Germany, resulting in high quality proposals with innovative ideas. The successful projects and teams will be announced in February 2019.


"Canada continues to foster strong international science collaborations, such as our long-lasting partnership with Germany. The friendships that we forge through meetings such as these help both countries work together to solve common challenges, from climate change to food and water security."

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

"This valuable collaboration is an excellent example of NSERC realizing its goal of working with international counterparts to allow our research and industrial communities to access knowledge and expertise to generate world-class research results for the mutual benefit of all partners. The tremendous response to this pilot program is a testament to both Canada and Germany's commitment in working together towards an innovative future."

Dr. Marc Fortin, Vice-President, Research Partnerships, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

"NRC IRAP works to support business innovation and create opportunities for Canadian SMEs to collaborate with international partners through technology transfer and technology development for the purpose of generating economic benefits for both countries."

David Lisk, Vice-President, National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program


NSERC invests over $1.2 billion each year in natural sciences and engineering research in Canada. Our investments deliver discoveries—valuable world-firsts in knowledge claimed by a brain trust of over 11,000 professors. Our investments enable partnerships and collaborations that connect industry with discoveries and the people behind them. Researcher-industry partnerships established by NSERC help inform research and development and solve scale-up challenges.

NSERC also provides scholarships and hands-on training experience for more than 30,000 post-secondary students and post-doctoral fellows. These young researchers will be the next generation of science and engineering leaders in Canada.


For more than 70 years, the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) has been stimulating economic growth through technological innovation. It provides Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with customized business solutions, financial assistance, expert advice, and access to national and international networks in all industry sectors.

NRC IRAP's advisory services are delivered by a national network of 255 Industrial Technology Advisors, located in over 120 communities, who work with Canadian SMEs to help turn their ideas into commercial successes. With NRC IRAP's support, businesses are better equipped to build their innovation capacity, successfully commercialize their innovations and become more competitive in the global marketplace.

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