Inaugural Action Plan (Draft 23 April 2012)

President Rousseff & Prime Minister Harper

"(Leaders) signalled the strategic importance of the newly established Canada Brazil Joint Committee for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation. (Leaders) agreed on the development of an Action Plan focusing on the research, development and commercialization of joint projects in biotechnology and life sciences, ocean technology, information and communication technology, clean energy, green technologies, and nanotechnology."

President Rousseff’s & Prime Minister Harper’s
Brazil-Canada Joint Statement, August 8, 2011

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

The Canada-Brazil Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation, ratified in 2010, has marked the beginning of a new era in Canadian-Brazilian collaboration that will serve as the catalyst to foster innovation and prosperity in areas of common interest and expertise.

The Joint Science Technology and Innovation Committee has been mandated by the two governments to oversee the implementation of this landmark accord.  Meeting for the first time in June 2011, the Committee quickly reached consensus that Canada and Brazil are not only well positioned to take on the challenge of developing world-leading products and technologies to address unmet needs, but together can also realize social and commercial value from these collaborative efforts to the benefit of both national economies and the world.

Through its sectoral working groups, which counted on the active participation of leading experts in both Canada and Brazil in the public and private sectors, the Committee has determined that opportunities for such joint efforts are particularly salient in four specific areas that link directly to the innovation strategies of the two countries:

  • Life Sciences, with a particular focus on the development of diagnostic tools, pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals related to neurodegenerative and infectious diseases;
  • Ocean Science and Technology, including next generation sensor technology and ocean platforms, ocean and coastal observing systems, and data management technologies;
  • Clean Technology and Green Energy, with emphasis on hydroelectric and hydrogen resource development, smart grid, green mining and the introduction of nanotechnology for green energy; and
  • Information and Communication Technology, focusing on cloud computing, wireless broadband networks, and gaming technologies.

The Committee has further determined that nanotechnology, along with innovation practices and initiatives, should be considered as cross-cutting themes to be included wherever possible in the collaborative pursuit of initiatives.

The Committee has resolved that Research and Development (R&D) in these selected areas must lead to programs, practices and policies that specifically and directly benefit the economies and societies of both countries.  To this end, a detailed agenda of specific activities will be pursued jointly with key stakeholders over the next 12 -24 months through a combination of inter-related modalities. These include:

  1. Sponsorship of specific collaborative industry-academia-government R&D projects in the areas of focus identified above, directed towards the development of products and/or services that can be successfully commercialized by industry.  An example is the launch this spring of the Federally-funded $4.5M Call for Proposals to be matched by Brazilian partners;
  2. Coordination of programs to stimulate the mobility of students and researchers within industry and academia through existing programming, such as the Canada-Brazil Awards, and new initiatives based on the opportunities created by Brazil’s Science Without Borders program;
  3. The organization of conferences, workshops, partnership development activities and other events that draw wide participation from both Canada and Brazil, including the proposed Canada-Brazil 3.0 digital media conference, Rio+20 and a host of sectoral professional meetings in the two countries; and
  4. The development of effective and wide-reaching communications mechanisms to inform potential stakeholders, advertise the benefits of Canada-Brazil collaboration in science and technology, and report on the successes achieved over time through such activity.

The Committee renews its commitment to pursue the objectives outlined in the Agreement by following up on the strategies delineated above and by permanently drawing upon new opportunities to engage in joint activities. The Action Plan is thus envisioned as a living document subject to continuous and incremental improvements. The Committee will review the progress under this Action Plan on an annual basis. Through it, Brazil and Canada firmly resolve to fully explore the potential provided by the creation of a cooperative framework in which representatives from governments, academia, and the private sector can collaborate on a consistent and comprehensive basis. The ensuing synergy generated is a valuable asset that we, the Science, Technology and Innovation Joint Committee, intend to nurture for many years to come.

Foreward

A joint, balanced approach of exchange of people and ideas will result in a movement of talent and commercial activity the likes of which we have never seen between our two countries, increasingly supported by a host of new programs already in play. As people start to move across our borders within the context of a joint “mission,” this will have no other effect than to breed familiarity, common purpose and commitment to excellence …. in the Canada-Brazil interchange, and will thus form the bedrock we can build on. At that point, and that point alone, we will truly be able to say we have established a sound and productive bilateral relationship – one that will surely pave the way toward much broader cooperation on a number of other fronts, from global security to health and environmental sustainability. Fifty to a hundred years from now, historians may look back and see that this period represented one of the best and most productive periods in Canadian – Brazilian relationship in terms of generating domestic and global value.[1]

Canada and Brazil have cooperated for many years in areas of strategic interest such as the promotion of security, prosperity and democratic governance, and have signed a number of agreements, treaties, and memoranda of understanding on issues ranging from education to health, sustainable mining, and labour.  It may also be added that Canada and Brazil have long been strong partners in promoting joint action in science and technology from a “bottom-up” perspective, whereby dialogue between Brazilian and Canadian experts has always been a hallmark of the relationship.

Despite this, however, there had long been a desire expressed within both governments to leverage existing activity to further strengthen bilateral ties in the interest of promoting enhanced commercial ties and economic well-being for both countries. To this end, science and technology have been readily recognized as suitable foundations for this type of advanced engagement.  Both Canada and Brazil have forged considerable investments, and possess considerable strength in key fields—particularly related to resource extraction and advanced manufacturing—and collaboration has proven time and time again to form the critical basis for the innovation that drives economic prosperity.

The Canadian and Brazilian governments, recognizing that the global economy will increasingly depend on knowledge and innovation, established a formal framework for cooperation across industry, academia and government with the signing of the Canada-Brazil Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation in 2008.  Ratified in 2010, the Agreement marks the beginning of a new era in Canadian-Brazilian collaboration and can serve as the catalyst to foster innovation in areas of common interest.

The Agreement called for the creation of a Joint Committee to oversee its implementation. When the Committee met for the first time in June 2011, it reached consensus that there was a need to develop a targeted plan to set direction, seize the momentum, and push the relationship to a new level. Working groups were subsequently formed to further explore and refine areas of cooperation and to develop strategic plans that would form the core of the broader science and technology action plan with a focus on innovation.

After months of consultations and development, and building on the strong bilateral foundation between the two countries, this inaugural Canada-Brazil joint Action Plan sets forth a number of key initiatives and actions to be implemented in strategic priority areas in the coming two years, and makes targeted recommendations to ensure initial success. The Action Plan is envisioned as a means to mobilize Canadian and Brazilian stakeholders into action, thereby leading to stronger bilateral research and innovation collaboration.

Stakeholders are invited to comment on and participate in the implementation of the Action Plan. The Joint Committee will review annually the progress made under this Action Plan.

The Action Plan

Proposed Areas of Focus for Canada-Brazil Collaboration

Canada and Brazil are not only well positioned to take on the challenge of developing world-leading products and technologies to address unmet needs, but together can also realize social and commercial value from these collaborative efforts to the benefit of both national economies. The opportunities for such joint efforts are particularly salient in four areas, as identified by the Joint Committee: Life Sciences; Ocean Science and Technology; Clean Technology and Green Energy; and Information and Communication Technology. For more detailed information, see the individual sector work plans in Annex I.

Partners have also agreed that R&D in those areas must lead, whenever possible, to innovation programs, practices and policies for the benefit of the economy and society of both countries. Bearing that in mind, Brazil and Canada have agreed that the implementation of the Action Plan within the corresponding working groups shall count on the participation and support of representatives of academia, industry and services sectors, and government.

Life Sciences

Canada and Brazil possess extremely vibrant and expanding life sciences industries, as both host affiliates of the world’s leading players in pharmaceuticals and medical technologies and represent important second-tier markets for innovative drug products and medical devices. In addition, home grown life science-based small and medium sized enterprises are quickly gaining prominence as drivers of discovery and innovation in both countries. Given their increasing prevalence and potential economic costs, neurodegenerative and infectious diseases are two critical targets for future collaboration between Canada and Brazil. Existing and highly complementary R&D capacity in these areas further suggest the joint development of novel diagnostic tools and therapies, including pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals as a bilateral priority. In order to optimize joint work in those areas, parties considered cooperation in cross-cutting technologies benefitting the implementation of the Action Plan, such as bioinformatics and nanobiotechnology.

Ocean Science and Technology

Brazil and Canada are large maritime nations with long coastlines, robust marine economies and significant amounts of offshore industrial activity.  Both countries need to balance management of marine resources with marine industrial activity, and to undertake this in the context of a changing marine environment due to global warming. With strong networks of ocean research universities, government marine research centres, and a cadre of advanced marine technology companies, there is a sound foundation for enhanced R&D collaboration between Canada and Brazil, especially in two critical areas associated with monitoring the countries’ vast ocean enterprises: next generation sensor technology and ocean platforms; and ocean and coastal observing systems, including data management.

Green Energy and Clean Technology

Significant opportunity for joint R&D and commercialization exists as both energy and mining account for significant proportions of GDP in both Canada and Brazil, with leading firms in both countries operating with a high degree of activity and success well beyond their national territory.  There is also a growing and shared interest in ensuring the sustainability of commercial growth in these sectors, as well as a desire to minimize the impact of resource extraction on the environment. Existing and joint industry activity, along with complementary R&D strengths, suggest a broad range of areas with potential for joint project development, including hydroelectric and hydrogen resource development, smart grid, green mining, and the introduction of nanotechnology for green energy.

Information and Communications Technologies

With vast national territories and unique challenges associated with maintaining reliable state-of-the-art data transmission networks, both Canada and Brazil have a strong interest in information and communications technologies. The two countries are international leaders in the development and adoption of computing technologies and advanced wireless networks. Both countries maintain a strong interest in further developing existing and complementary R&D capacity in areas with significant global potential, such as cloud computing, wireless broadband networks, and gaming technologies.

Another key area for collaboration under the Action Plan is in digital media. As supported by Prime Minister Harper and President Rousseff in their Joint Statement of August 2011, Canada and Brazil are collaborating on a 3.0 conference. Part one of this initiative took place in April 2012, when a Brazilian delegation of over 30 people from industry, academia and government attended the Canada 3.0 conference in Stratford, Ontario.  Part two of the initiative will take place when Brazil hosts its own version of the event in late 2012.

Nanotechnology: Both Brazil and Canada have identified nanotechnology as a platform that can be used in various sectors. It has been included as a ‘cross-cutting’ theme throughout the various working groups.

Innovation: Also as a cross-cutting theme within Brazil-Canada collaboration, innovation practices and initiatives shall be considered when parties create particular projects within the bilateral work plan. This means that good quality research deriving from bilateral cooperation should take into account the possibility of its creative and inexpensive use by business and stakeholders for the economic and social benefit of both countries.

The Committee recommends that:

  • interested sector stakeholders contact their respective working groups and participate in the process.

Moving Forward - A Plan for Action - Modalities

In order to stimulate collaborative activity and project development in each of the focus areas proposed above we recommend a combination of inter-related modalities. These include:

  1. sponsorship and funding of specific collaborative R&D projects in the areas of focus identified above, ideally cutting across the stakeholder community ;
  2. coordination of programs to stimulate mobility of students and researchers within industry and academia;
  3. the organization of conferences, workshops, partnership development activities and other events that draw wide participation in both countries; and
  4. the development of effective and wide-reaching communications mechanisms to inform potential stakeholders, advertise the benefits of Canada-Brazil collaboration in science and technology, and report on the successes achieved over time through such activity.

Each of these modalities is described in detail below.

Stimulating Research and Development (R&D) Projects

The cornerstone of Canada-Brazil collaboration in R&D lies in project development and effective programming in support of this development. Joint projects should count on well-developed and solid partnerships between a number of stakeholders, including colleges and universities, federal science facilities, and perhaps most importantly, industry. The objective of such projects should be squarely focused on the development of products and/or services that can be successfully commercialized by the industry partners in Brazil and Canada. Consideration should also be given to the potential in “third” markets as well, thus helping to establish Canada and Brazil jointly as technology leaders within specific sectors globally. While this is initially targeted to occur within the areas or sectors described above, it is expected that successful collaborations may extend to areas far beyond those initially contemplated.

With respect to the development of specific funding mechanisms to achieve this, Canada and Brazil are fortunate to possess an existing structure with a solid track record designed to deliver the proposed outcome. With seed funding from the Canadian Government and Brazilian partner FAPESP (the São Paulo State Research Funding Agency), International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTPCanada) successfully launched an industry focused R&D call for proposals in 2010 – a request which resulted in the funding of two projects in satellite technology and greener plastics. Two other projects in the areas of wireless communication and zero client computing were funded under the Canada-Brazil call for proposals between Canadian proponents and Brazilian counterparts from other states.

In support of the development of further R&D funding programs with Brazil, ISTPCanada received an additional $4.5M contribution from the Canadian Federal Government in 2011, and is now seeking Brazilian funding partners at both the federal level, through agencies such as the National Council of Technological and Scientific Development (CNPq), the Brazilian Innovation Agency (FINEP), and the state-level research funding institutions. ISTPCanada is developing the next phase of Canada-Brazil R&D project funding through joint calls for proposals that will focus on the specific areas of focus as identified in this Action Plan.

Although the joint calls for proposals will focus on industrial R&D between Canadian and Brazilian companies (with opportunity for university research involvement), CNPq will explore ways to participate by granting fellowships offered through Science without Borders Program to Brazilian individuals in Canada. Based on the scope of the joint call for proposals, such fellowships could be offered to specialists or technicians willing to spend a period between 4 and 12 months in Canada, involved with staff improvement or retraining activities.

The Committee Recommends that:

  • other Brazilian and Canadian funding agencies consider being involved in R&D projects and offer financial support. Granting Councils and other federal and provincial organizations in Canada need to be made aware of the Action Plan, as would a number of Brazilian counterparts such as CNPq, CAPES, FINEP, BNDES, INT and others. This type of bilateral coordination would greatly increase the pool of funding available for future Canada-Brazil funding projects and programs; and
  • each country clearly identify a federal point of contact whose roles would include: 1) leadership on calls for proposals, and 2) acting as a champion for ensuring federal, state and provincial and territorial engagement.

Building Bridges and Enhancing Student/Researcher Mobility

Mobility of highly qualified personnel is the cornerstone of effective relationship and project building in R&D. Current levels of mobility among students and scientists in both the public and private sector between Canada and Brazil have been relatively limited; however, steps are being taken to address this shortcoming. At the federal level, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada offers Postdoctoral Research Fellowships, as well as short-term training opportunities in the Emerging Leaders in the Americas Program at the college, undergraduate and graduate levels.  In the context of the Canada-Brazil Memorandum of Understanding concerning Academic Mobility and Scientific Cooperation, the Canada-Brazil Awards program launched in 2011 includes 2-year joint research projects and the provision for the mobility of some 100 Canadian and Brazilian doctoral students between the two countries.  The federally-funded Canada Graduate Vanier Scholarships and the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships, and a number of provincial programs, such as Ontario’s Trillium Awards, encourage mobility by attracting top quality graduate students to Canada.

The flow of students and researchers from Brazil to Canada is expected to increase considerably as a result of the implementation of Brazil’s Science Without Borders program (“Ciência sem Fronteiras”). Under this initiative, launched in July 2011, the Brazilian federal government, with the participation of industries and businesses established in Brazil, will sponsor approximately 100,000 undergraduate and graduate students and researchers looking to study and conduct collaborative R&D abroad by 2015 in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects.  The Government of Brazil has recently launched two Public Calls, offering scholarships for undergraduate students from Brazil willing to study between 9 and 10 months in Canada, spending up to 3 months doing a research or technologic oriented internship in an industry, research center or university laboratory. These calls have been launched in partnership with CALDO (Consortium of the Universities of Alberta, Laval, Dalhousie and Ottawa) and the Canadian Bureau for International Education.   Previous calls have also already closed under agreements with the Association of Canadian Community Colleges and Mitacs. Other agreements under Science Without Borders with other Canadian stakeholders are under negotiation. Science Without Boarders will also fund exchange activities for a limited number of university-based scientists looking to expand their research collaborations abroad. The four priority sector areas of this Action Plan are well reflected and adequately covered in this program.

Moving forward, there is both room and opportunity to enhance the potential impact of existing student and research exchange programs to better serve the aims of Canada-Brazil R&D agenda. To progressively build opportunities for students and researchers in Canada and Brazil to study and conduct collaborative R&D in each other’s country respectively, the Committee recommends that:

  • Every effort be made to support mobility among students and researchers engaged in funded projects;
  • Efforts be made to ensure coordination among existing Canadian and Brazilian student and researcher exchange programs, at the federal or provincial/state levels, agency-based within post-secondary institutions, to ensure that opportunities for exchange to either country are adequately promoted and reach the widest potential audience; and
  • Encourage working group stakeholders to consider including interns (private sector) or students/researchers (academic institutions) in their working groups.

Promotion of Canada-Brazil Events

Canadian and Brazilian industry representatives, students, and researchers increasingly participate in international conferences that promote networking and the exchange of ideas. Such conferences also frequently provide the seedbed for future collaboration, as students and scientists seek to improve or expand upon research leads and companies look to connect with next generation ideas and concepts emerging from university campuses.

Within the areas of focus identified in this Action Plan, there are a large number of events held each year that offer outstanding opportunities for the broad promotion of the aims of the Canada-Brazil Science, Technology, and Innovation Agreement, the development of R&D opportunities of interest to both Canada and Brazil, and ultimately, the marketing and sale of prospective new Canada-Brazil technologies. Within the Clean Technology sector alone, there are close to a dozen events planned for either Canada or Brazil in 2012 in areas from hydroelectricity production, smart grid technologies, alternative energy, and green mining. A number of recent meetings have been held in this regard in smart grid and neurodegenerative diseases. Similarly, at least four international conferences focusing on ocean science that will feature both Canadian and Brazilian participation are planned for this year. Additionally, key players in the Brazilian digital media field will participate in Canada 3.0—Canada’s premier event bringing together stakeholders in the ICT sector. Plans are already underway for the organization of a Brazil 3.0 to be held in Brazil in 2012. There is also opportunity related to Canada-Brazil participation in upcoming major sporting events in Brazil—the World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympics—designed to showcase joint technologies and capacities. Canada will also be warmly welcomed to participate and liaise with Brazil during the World Science Forum, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, in November, 2013.

To help further disseminate information on existing conference opportunities, and stimulate opportunities to either incorporate key elements of the Canada-Brazil agenda or develop whole new events for this purpose, the Committee recommends that stakeholders be encouraged to:

  • find ways to leverage existing events, such as the World Congress on Information Technology 2012 in Montreal, or Hydrovision Brazil 2012 or organize stand-alone events, such as Canada-Brazil 3.0, that promote R&D collaboration and networking of students and scientists from the public and private sector in both countries; and
  • explore opportunities to apply and/or showcase emerging Canada-Brazil technologies at the upcoming Brazil World Cup (2014) and Olympics (2016) and other key events.

Communication and Advocacy

In support of the activities described above, present and future opportunities related to Canada-Brazil collaboration must be disseminated on a continuing basis. This is a key objective of the publication of this Action Plan, and can also be achieved, in part, through the upcoming joint calls for proposals for research funding or mobility themselves—as advertised by ISTPCanada and funding partners—and through participation in Canada-Brazil events and conferences. The sector working groups have also incorporated communication strategies into their work plans to encourage participation of their stakeholder groups.

Conventional wisdom suggests that a website or network of sites with links to existing programs, funding agencies and opportunities, stakeholders and potential collaborators, and educational or training programs would be best suited to this purpose. Given the level of sophistication in the digital media sphere in both countries, other opportunities for the dissemination will be explored, including social media. Group coordinators and Joint Committee co-chairs and members are encouraged to give full publicity and dissemination to the events and cooperative initiatives underway resulting from this Action Plan.

 To explore and develop the most appropriate means for information collection and distribution, the Committee recommends that:

  • options and feasibility be explored for a website to be developed jointly by Canada and Brazil to be focused specifically on the aims and objectives of this Action Plan or that an existing website be identified as an alternative measure; and that in either case, the website should contain links to existing funding and mobility programs, as well as upcoming events and activities associated with Canada-Brazil collaboration in science and technology.  Careful consideration will need to be given to the question of who will host and manage the suggested site in order to ensure its ongoing relevance and usefulness. 

Summary Table of Actions

Given the nature and varying scope of the recommendations contained in the previous section, in order to ensure successful outcomes it is critical that objectives be clearly set within the context of outcome measures and times, and with individuals and or agencies responsible for delivering on these. These objectives and responsibilities are summarized below.

Summary Table of Actions
Event/ActivityOutcomes/MeasuresLead(s)Timeline/
location
Develop Joint Committee complement to the Science Without Borders (SWB)Strengthen relationship & encourage long term collaboration in areas of focus; encourage participation of industry to increase potential of future commercialization of research; involve SWB participants in Joint Committee processJoint Committee in collaboration with SWB leads (DFAIT, AUCC, CBIE, CNPq, CAPES, etc.)Ongoing
Quarterly video calls of Joint CommitteeDetermine progress under the Action Plan; bring new suggestions to the table; update on upcoming projectsJoint Committee Co-ChairsOngoing
Brazil-Canada Smart Grid Matchmaking Event32 delegates from Brazil and 59 Canadian companies participated; over 330 one-on-one company meetings; and potential for great collaborationsISTPCanadaDecember 5-9, 2011/ Vancouver & Toronto

*successfully completed

Organization of a bilateral life sciences session at Prionet ConferenceResearcher/ industry networking and dissemination of information to researchers and students regarding pending funding opportunities for collaborative research in neuroscienceLife Sciences Working Group co-leadsMarch 7-8, 2012

*successfully completed

Organization of a bilateral meeting at Oceanology InternationalDetermine format, agenda and potential participants for upcoming multilateral workshopOceans Working GroupMarch 15-17, 2012

*successfully completed

Launch of the Joint Action Plan at the Innovation ForumHelp direct S&T and innovation collaboration; provide clear information about current strategy to stakeholders; solicit input and participation of stakeholdersJoint Committee co-leadsApril 27, 2012/ Sao Paulo
Launch of joint calls for proposals with ISTPCanada and Brazilian partnersFunding of at minimum 10 bilateral R&D projects involving multiple stakeholders including industry in priority areas determined by the Joint CommitteeCanada: ISTPCanada, NSERC.
Brazil: FAPESP, FAPEMIG, FACEPE, FAPERJ, & CNPq
Launch April 2012, for project completion by March 2015
Organization of Canada-Brazil 3.0 Conference Part 1Brazil to participate at Canada 3.0, including a day long workshop and incorporation of relevant themes throughout the eventCanadian Digital Media Network; ICT working group leadsApril 23-25, 2012 / Stratford, Ontario

*successfully completed

Meeting of the Clean Tech/Green Energy Working GroupMeetings to be held on the margins of Canada 3.0Clean Tech Working Group Co-leadsApril 24-27 2012/ Ontario

*successfully completed

Organization of a bilateral meeting at the International Polar Year 2012 ConferenceWorkshop for the Working Group outlined and further actions determinedOceans Working GroupApril 22-27, 2012/ Montreal, Canada

*Successfully completed

Organization of the First Brazil-Canada Joint Workshop on Ocean Science and TechnologyMeeting of the Working Group members and identification of core projects and initiatives for further development and fundingOceans Working GroupMay 9-11, 2012/ Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2012 XVIII Brazilian Geriatrics and Gerontology CongressPanel focusing on Canada-Brazil Collaboration in Research and Innovation in Aging Life Sciences Working GroupMay 23, 2012/ Rio de Janeiro
Brazil-Canada Nanotechnology ConferenceProject prospection on nanotechnology use for clean energy productionMCTI-BrazilAugust 2012/ Sao Paulo
Proposal for an Innovation Summit/Lab (subject to further consultation between parties involved)Follow up directives established at the first Joint Committee Meeting and discuss new programs and projects for future cooperationBrazilian Agency for Industrial Development and Canadian Federation of Independent BusinessToronto, August/ September, 2012
Development of Canada Brazil S&T communication strategyEncourage participation of stakeholders in implementation of Action Plan; streamline existing activities to build upon and strengthen collaborationDFAIT; Itamaraty; MCTISeptember 2012
Organization of Canada-Brazil panel at WCIT 2012Panel included in program with attendance from all stakeholders including industry to showcase Brazil-Canada technologyICT Working Group Co-ChairsOctober 22-24 2012/ Montreal
Organization of Canada-Brazil 3.0 Conference Part IIBrazil to host a Brazil 3.0 Conference with Canadian involvementItamaraty, ICT working groupNovember/ December, 2012  Paraíba
2nd Meeting of the Joint CommitteeTake stock of developments; determine next stepsItamaraty/MCTI; Joint CommitteeDecember 2012 (tbc) / Brazil
World Entrepreneurial CongressBring together Canadian and Brazilian young innovatorsStart Up Brazil2013/ Rio de Janeiro
Annual review of the Action PlanStock taking exercise of the activities and impact of the specific initiatives undertaken during the previous yearJoint CommitteeApril 2013
Canada’s Participation in the World Science ForumBring Canadian scientists and researchers to discuss ideas and experiences with Brazilian researchers related to the linkages between scientific research and economic developmentBrazilian Academy of Sciences;
Brazilian Society for the Advancement of Science
November, 2013/
Rio de Janeiro
Strategic Review of the Joint Action PlanThis review is to be completed at the end of the implementation phase of the current Action Plan to measure outcomes; determine next steps; and possible new sector areas of focusJoint Committee2014

Ensuring Sustainability

This Action Plan calls for the implementation of a number of specific initiatives in support of a joint Canada-Brazil Science, Technology and Innovation agenda, as outlined above. There are also a number of existing independently organized activities, programs, and initiatives that are already under way in support of these objectives, many of which are referenced in this report. Examples include a number of student and research mobility awards programs offered by our respective federal and state and provincial governments, as well as the ongoing networking activity of business organizations such as the two bilateral chambers of commerce in Toronto and Sao Paulo. There is also sector activity such as in agriculture through the bilateral Consultative Committee on Agriculture, the Canada-Brazil Energy and Biofuels Dialogues and potentially the bilateral aeronautics working group. All of these mechanisms are linked to the bilateral Joint Economic and Trade Council (JETC) in that they provide reports to the JETC. The JETC is the premier bilateral umbrella forum for advancing the economic and commercial elements of our bilateral relationship. Finally, the Canada-Brazil CEO Forum, formed to foster trade, investment, and innovation between the two countries, will intersect with the Committee’s mission.

Coordinating the work proposed under the recommendations contained in this Action Plan will be challenging. In addition, the importance of keeping abreast of, and working to incorporate, current developments in Canada-Brazil collaboration undertaken through other independent initiatives in both Canada and Brazil adds another layer of complexity. Therefore, in support of the broader agenda, there is a strong need to ensure that resources can be found, and directed to specific initiatives to ensure short-term impact, as well as both short and long-term sustainability.

Embassies and consulates in both Canada and Brazil will be critical in the implementation of the plan. The Committee recommends that adequate resources will need to be aligned to effectively manage implementation of the Action Plan, and to ensure the longer-term viability of the Canada-Brazil Science, Technology and Innovation relationship in order to:

  • coordinate with R&D funding agencies and industry associations in Canada and Brazil to secure additional funding for Canada-Brazil science, technology and innovation cooperation;
  • manage communications mechanisms and associated coordination of information dissemination regarding current and planned programming and opportunities to stakeholders in both countries;
  • prepare an annual review of the activities and impact of the specific initiatives undertaken during the previous year in alignment with and in support of the recommendations contained in this Action Plan and the broader Canada-Brazil science and technology relationship; and
  • help organize and prepare events and actions considered in the overall Brazil-Canada Science, Technology and Innovation collaborative strategy.

In addition to core staffing within the respective assigned Ministries or Departments in Canada and Brazil, the Committee, acting as an advisory “council” with representation from the major stakeholder groups, will need to provide periodic input into the impact of existing programming and recommendations for future initiatives.

Closing Remarks

On behalf of our colleagues of the Joint Committee we acknowledge the impressive amount of work and time invested in the preparation of the present Action Plan, which will seek to build on and expand existing important initiatives that have taken place in the last few years as well as explore new avenues for cooperation.  However, we believe that the success of the joint endeavour we have envisioned in the context of the bilateral agreement on Science, Technology and Innovation will be commensurate to its actual fulfillment.

In this regard, we recommit to pursuing the objectives outlined in the Canada-Brazil Agreement on Science, Technology and Innovation by following-up on the strategies we have delineated and by permanently drawing new opportunities to engage in joint activities. In that sense, the Action Plan should be seen as a living document, subject to continuous and incremental improvements.

We reiterate, above all, our resolve to fully explore the potential of the opportunity provided by the creation of a cooperative framework in which representatives from governments, academia, R&D institutes and the private sector can collaborate on a comprehensive and consistent basis. The synergy generated thereof, is a valuable asset we intend to nurture.

Jamshed Merchant
Canadian Co-Chair

Benedicto Fonseca Filho
Brazilian Co-Chair

Contact Information

Canada

Scott Fraser
Executive Secretary for the Science, Technology and Innovation Joint Committee
Director General
Global Business Opportunities Bureau
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
Email: Scott.Fraser@international.gc.ca

Brazil

Ambassador Carmen Moura
Executive Secretary for the Science, Technology and Innovation Joint Committee
Head of the International Affairs Secretariat
Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation
Email : Carmen.Moura@mct.gov.br

Canada-Brazil Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation:
www.treaty-accord.gc.ca/text-texte.aspx?id=105145


[1] Hewitt, W.E. and Lorna Jean Edmonds. “Hemispheric Strangers.” Literary Review of Canada March 2012, 2-5. Print.