Joint Action Plan Concerning Science, Technology and Innovation Between the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic

The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic (Italy), hereinafter referred to as “the Participants”,

Wishing to strengthen bilateral co-operation in the fields of science, technology, and innovation (STI);

Acknowledging that Canada-Italy STI relations are deep and extensive, which support enhanced participation from various stakeholders;

Recognizing that science, technology, and innovation are fundamental to economic growth and prosperity and that Canada and Italy are global leaders in complementary scientific research areas;

Considering that international collaboration is mutually beneficial to researchers and industry; and that to succeed in the global innovation economy, there is a need to strengthen respective abilities to accelerate the commercialization of emerging technologies;

Recognizing the importance of enhanced cooperation on science, technology, research and innovation as outlined in the proposed Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, for which negotiations were completed on 5 August 2014;

Understanding that strengthening STI ties between Canada and Italy are mutually reinforcing;

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 Science, Technology and Innovation Action Plan (the “Action Plan”) is for the Participants to enhance collaboration between the respective government bodies’, knowledge-based institutions, intermediary organizations, and industry in specific areas of STI that are currently of high strategic priority to both countries.

2. Objectives

The objectives of this Action Plan are to:

  • (i) Facilitate increased access to technology, market and talent from both countries;
  • (ii) Facilitate advanced research and development collaborations between respective centres of excellence, commercialization hubs and industry in areas of mutual interest;
  • (iii) Build linkages between scientific projects, commercialization networks, and innovation agencies to explore how best to foster innovation and build partnerships with a view to converting advanced research into commercial applications;
  • (iv) Foster partnerships between academia, government institutions, and industry in both countries to leverage innovation for greater societal and environmental benefit;
  • (v) Support efforts to integrate stakeholders from both countries into global value chain and research projects, and to foster match-making at selected events and initiatives.

3. Sectors of Co-Operation

  • (a) The Participants will carry out joint initiatives to drive economic growth and competitiveness in support of commercialization of innovation; to facilitate applied research; and encourage technology partnerships.
  • (b) The Participants will consider joint initiatives in the following priority areas:
    • (i) Marine Sciences: In keeping with the Galway Statement, suggested focus is on collaborative research for sustainable development of ocean resources, technology development and coordination of infrastructure. Areas of focus may include ocean observation, prediction and research in the Atlantic Ocean and the portion of the Arctic Ocean that borders on the Atlantic.
    • (ii) The Arctic: Suggested focus is on technology development and collaborative research pertaining to arctic knowledge creation activities. Areas of focus may include: • environmental monitoring;
      • data processing and management;
      • modeling, prediction and forecasting;
      • development and assessment of remote sensing systems.
    • (iii) Aerospace: Suggested focus is on fostering joint technology development and collaborative research to facilitate access to global value chains. Areas of focus may include:
      • design, development, testing, and application of nanomaterial and related technology and its application
      • composites manufacturing.
    • (iv) Agriculture and Agri-Food: Suggested focus includes joint cooperation on technology, techniques, know-how, and best practices to ensure a safe and reliable food supply, support the need for sustainable agriculture and respond to emerging issues.
    • (v) Life Sciences: Using existing multilateral collaborations in order to facilitate 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 and neurodegenerative diseases;
      • rare diseases;
      • nutrition and health;
      • digital health;
      • vaccines.

4. Forms of Co-Operation

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

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

5. Implementation

  • (a) The Participants understand that Annex 1 is designed to help structure cooperative activities they carry out under this Action Plan.
  • (b) The Action Plan supports specific joint research and innovation undertakings within priority areas of cooperation.

6. Reporting and Review

  • (a) The Participants will collaborate on an annual jointly drafted report that will outline the cooperative activities carried out, the results of these initiatives, and the success stories that have been generated through this mutual cooperation.
  • (b) The Participants will review the areas of cooperation in a mutually beneficial fashion, every three (3) years, and, if deemed necessary, modify them based on their common STI needs and objectives.
  • (c) The Participants will jointly develop and populate an evergreen reporting template (Annex 1) to track activities and support strategic forward planning. This reporting mechanism will be a tool used by the Participants to draft the annual reporting document and to inform decision making for the review process.

7. Funding

The Participants understand that cooperative activities under this Action Plan are subject to the availability of their respective resources.

8. Final Dispositions

  • (a) This Joint Action Plan will take effect on the date of the signature of its English language version 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.
  • (d) The preferred channels to disseminate joint annual reports are to be mutually agreed upon.

Signed in duplicate at this day of 2015, in the English language. The Participants will sign the French and Italian versions within 30 days, each version being equally valid.

 

For the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada


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Peter McGovern
Ambassador of Canada to the Italian Republic

For the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic

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Andrea Meloni
Director General for Country Promotion