As already indicated, Canada came into ITEA with a “bang”. While only 1 Canadian partner participated in one ITEA 3 Call 1 project in 2014, 15 Canadian partners already got involved in ten labelled ITEA 3 Call 2 projects in 2015. Four of these projects are even led by Canadian SMEs.
To further strengthen the ties and improve cooperation possibilities, ITEA Chairwoman Zeynep Sarılar was invited for a 5-day visit to Canada from Monday 15 August to Friday 19 August. This year, the focus was on Smart Health related companies and organisations. During these days, she visited a number of representatives from Canadian SMEs, hospitals and health networks, incubation centres, accelerators, associations and universities in Toronto, Waterloo, Ottawa and Montreal. The meetings consisted of a mix of interesting discussions, presentations and site visits. Zeynep also met representatives of the National Research Council (NRC), Canada’s research and technology organisation, executives from NRC’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Canada’s leading innovation assistance programme for SMEs, representatives of the Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) and representatives from multiple ministries to discuss future project and funding possibilities and conditions.
Top row left to right: Melanie Cullins, EUREKA National Project Coordinator for Canada and Director, International Relations, Government and International Relations (GIR), National Research Council of Canada (NRC); Mark Ferdinand, Director General, Partnerships and Business Development, Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR); François Cordeau, Vice President, Emerging Technologies – Platforms, NRC; Judith Young, Director General, GIR, NRC. Bottom row left to right: Randy Zadra, Senior Advisor, International Relations, GIR, NRC; Zeynep Sarılar, Chairwoman, ITEA; Bogdan Ciobanu, Vice President, Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), NRC; Vanessa Podgurny, Deputy Director, Innovation Programs and Partnerships, Global Affairs Canada.
The visit was highly appreciated and the first results will already be visible at the ITEA PO Days 2016, taking place on 13-14 September in Paris, as a delegation of about 25 persons from Canadian SMEs, along with medical researchers and academics, accompanied by Canadian Public Authorities will participate. The delegation has already started uploading their project ideas in the ITEA 3 Call 3 project idea tool (login and NDA needed). To date, there are 15 Canadian ideas to be checked out!
“We very much appreciate the visit of Zeynep Sarilar as it was very timely and provided an excellent opportunity for Canadian participants to learn more about ITEA. The visit was instrumental in generating even greater interest in ITEA 3 in Canada and lays an excellent foundation upon which we can generate many strong collaborations moving forward,” said Randy Zadra, Senior Advisor, NRC.
The ITEA PO Days 2016 are an excellent opportunity to meet and partner with the Canadian delegation. For more information, visit the PO Days webpages.