Joint Statement between the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills of the United Kingdom concerning Joint Initiatives in the Fields of Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada and Department of Business, Innovation and Skills of the United Kingdom, hereinafter referred to as “the Participants,”

Wishing to strengthen their bilateral co-operation in the fields of science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship;

Pursuant to the Canada-United Kingdom Joint Declaration for renewed bilateral engagement and international cooperation endorsed by Prime Ministers Harper and Cameron in Ottawa on 22 September 2011;

Recognizing that science, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation are fundamental to economic growth and prosperity; that their countries are global leaders in complementary scientific research areas; that international collaboration is mutually beneficial to the researchers and businesses of their countries; and that to succeed in the global innovation economy, there is a need to strengthen their respective abilities to accelerate the commercialisation of emerging technologies;

Aspiring to develop and strengthen partnerships that ensure both countries’ access to leading technologies and scientific advances;

Have come to the following understanding:

1. Purpose

The purpose of this Joint Statement is to enhance collaboration between the government bodies, knowledge based institutions, and businesses in the areas of science, technology, entrepreneurship and innovation that are of high strategic priority to both countries.

2. Definitions

For the purposes of this Joint Statement, “innovation” means the exploitation of new ideas to create economic, social, and environmental value.

3. Objectives

The objectives of this Joint Statement are to:

  • (i) Facilitate advanced research and development collaborations between respective centres of excellence, and industry as appropriate, of both countries in areas of mutual priority;
  • (ii) Build links between commercialisation networks and innovation agencies to explore how best to foster innovation and build partnerships with a view to converting advanced research into commercial applications;
  • (iii) Establish mechanisms to stimulate closer ties between both countries entrepreneurial and start-up organisations, fostering a more innovative community and helping to stimulate economic growth through the sharing of best practices, the internationalisation of technology based, high-growth small and medium enterprises, and entrepreneurial learning;
  • (iv) Foster partnerships between academia, government, industry and civil society in both countries to leverage innovation for greater societal benefit.

4. Areas of Co-operation

  • (a) The Participants will carry out joint initiatives to support innovation, facilitate applied research and commercialisation partnerships, and encourage entrepreneurial activity to drive economic growth and competitiveness and to address global challenges.
  • (b) The Participants will consider to take joint initiatives in the following priority areas:
    • (i) Health research: Facilitating the translation of advanced knowledge into life-changing therapies for the benefit of patients, healthcare institutions and industries. Areas of specific focus may include: neurosciences; ageing; infectious diseases; regenerative medicine; stratified medicine; cancer imaging; and global health;
    • (ii) Sustainability, renewable energy and clean technologies: Encourage joint collaboration on technology development and knowledge sharing between both countries to accelerate the development, demonstration and deployment of technologies and process to support the marine energy sector. Other priority areas may include bioenergy, hydrogen and fuel cells, and sustainable construction;
    • (iii) Advanced manufacturing: Foster collaborations in applied research that address specific industry needs, in particular capitalising on existing support mechanism in aerospace and exploring opportunities for collaboration between institutions of both countries;
    • (iv) Innovation policy: Develop a structured exchange of ideas and best practice on the role of government in supporting innovation, and the effective operation of national innovation systems;
    • (v) Entrepreneurship: Enhance linkages between start-up campaigns and entrepreneur groups to help young, high-growth companies access global markets and bring an international dimension to entrepreneurial learning;
    • (vi) Social innovation: Working with academic, government, and civil society partners to leverage research and innovation activities for greater societal benefits.

5. Forms of Co-operation

The Participants understand that initiatives under this Joint Statement may take the following forms:

  • (i) Exchange of scientific, technological and innovation intelligence, including on practices, policies, laws, other regulations and programs relating to co-operation under this Joint Statement;
  • (ii) Joint seminars, symposia, conferences and workshops;
  • (iii) Business development and technology partnering missions and the sharing of leads and opportunities;
  • (iv) Collaborative research projects;
  • (v) Shared use of resources and infrastructure;
  • (vi) Mobilisation and exchange of researchers, engineers and entrepreneurs; and
  • (vii) Other forms of joint activities as they may mutually decide.

6. Progress Reporting

The Participants will collaborate on an annual report that will outline the initiatives carried out, the results of these initiatives and the success stories that have been generated through this mutual cooperation.

7. Funding

The Participants understand that initiatives under this Joint Statement will depend on the availability of their respective funds and resources.

8. Final Dispositions

  • (a) This Joint Statement will take effect on the date of its signature by the Participants.
  • (b) The Participants may amend this Joint Statement upon their mutual written consent.
  • (c) The Participants may terminate this Joint Statement by giving a written notice to the other Participant.

Signed in duplicate at Montreal, this 8th day of May 2012, in the English and French languages, each version being equally valid.


For the Department of Foreign Affairs
and International Trade of Canada


The Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade

For the Department of Business, Innovation
and Skills of the United Kingdom


Lord Green
Minister of State for Trade and Investment