The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is taking steps to improve international collaboration in science, research and development (R&D), and business innovation. In October 2017, Dr. Alan Steele and Dr. Jennifer Decker traveled to Germany to learn more about how Germany administers and organizes research and to exchange best practices. The purpose was to identify opportunities to deepen current research collaborations for the mutual benefit of Canada and Germany.
Dr. Steele and Dr. Decker were generously hosted by DLR (German Aerospace Center) Projekt-Traeger for their stay in Bonn and Berlin, and by BayFOR (Bavarian Research Alliance) during their time in Munich.
On January 28, 2018, NRC President Iain Stewart signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with DLR and BayFOR to set in place the processes for future collaborations with the NRC.
"The NRC and Germany have a long history of cooperation and collaboration with positive Science, Technology and Innovation experiences. I cannot overstate the importance of the cooperative environment that led to the creation of these MoUs. The NRC is excited about the creation of new networks and looks forward to deepening and expanding existing ones."
- Iain Stewart, President, National Research Council of Canada
Both the NRC and BayFOR promote R&D projects across a broad spectrum of potential applications and play a role in facilitation of matchmaking for research partners from academia, industry and government labs.
The NRC and BayFOR MoU is intended to identify and push forward additional opportunities for joint research projects, including with partners from the private sector, where pooling expertise will bring advantages to both sides. More specifically, a key focus of this work is on public funded opportunities to assist innovation development that is implemented through thematic and geographical clusters.
"When two organizations with shared priorities and interests align, the possibilities for innovation are unlimited. BayFOR is pleased to be engaging in this international collaboration agreement with the NRC and increasing opportunities for joint research in key areas to the benefit of Bavaria and Canada."
- Martin Reichel, Managing Director, BayFOR (Bavarian Research Alliance)
The NRC and DLR have a longstanding relationship that is now entering in a new phase of broader engagement. The MoU signed on January 28, 2018 broadens the relationship to include wide topical themes and research management best practices. The new MoU extends the strategic partnership between the two organizations to the areas of research program and project management and cooperative scientific investigation.
The scope of the NRC and DLR MoU includes promoting industrial development through programs such as EUREKA (where DLR and the NRC are mandated as the respective national coordinators). The MoU work aims to position mutual areas of strength together through laboratory-to-laboratory engagement and by sharing best practices for success in identifying, funding, and executing joint projects.
In addition to building on strong relationships between researchers, both of the new MoUs enable close collaboration for efficient long-term planning and scaling of research engagement.
"Our cooperation will be extended to additional scientific areas of the two national research institutions due to the outstanding results achieved thus far as well as their excellent expertise. Our countries can complement and support each other in scientific technological research and development. This year, for instance, a joint airborne measuring campaign to develop L-band radar technology will be conducted in Canada."
- Prof. Rolf Henke, DLR Executive Board Member responsible for Aeronautics Research
In an increasingly globalized market, companies need to access markets beyond their borders to thrive. The NRC is continually working to improve and evolve its support for innovative Canadian companies as they navigate the ever-changing world of global innovation. One of the ways to provide this support is by creating and seizing important opportunities like the mission to Germany.