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The Canadian Ambassador in Italy meets Veneto Innovazione

The Canadian Ambassador in Italy came to Veneto Innovazione and we interviewed him. Here are the answers.

What role does science, technology and innovation play in the Canadian economy?
"Science, technology and innovation is a critical part of Canada's strategy for economic growth. Canada is in fact the world's leading country in terms of its integrated approach to driving growth through innovation, according to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (Washington, DC) and the Kauffman Foundation (Kansas City). Our innovation system actively involves Canadian research institutions in the development of next-generation products such as electric vehicles, paper phones, wood-based jet fuel, simulation technologies and the new chemicals and plastics that will shape tomorrow’s bio-economy. In addition to very favourable R&D tax credits and incentives, Canada’s appealing environment for leading-edge research is built upon several innovation-supporting policies: effective protection of intellectual-property rights; open competition in domestic market in the deployment of digital information and communications technologies and platforms; transparent government-procurement practices, and openness to high-skill immigration. Canada also continually reviews and tweaks its innovation system to respond to current needs, based on regular expert panel reports. In 2011, the OECD ranked Canada number one among G-7 countries for higher-education R&D expenditures as a percentage of GDP".
 
Which perspectives of cooperations do you see between Canadian and Veneto companies?
"Italy has an incredible array of technology clusters throughout the country and Veneto region is no exception. Under our Tavolo Canada initiative, a joint program between the Italian Foreign Ministry and the Embassy to promote Canada-Italy research and innovation partnerships in priority sectors, we have aggressively supported new R&D linkages and joint projects over the past six years between major Italian and Canadian research institutes and universities, innovative companies, and public and private sector laboratories, including in the Veneto region, and we hope to keep doing this. We've seen cooperation take place in the form of researcher and staff exchanges, technology transfer, MOUs, and investment. In terms of sectors, we are particularly interested in Health and Life Sciences, Green Technologies, Ocean Technologies, AgriFood, New Materials for Transportation and Information Communications Technologies".  
 
What services does the Canadian Embassy offer to companies meaning to enlarge their market in Canada?
"International trade, investment and innovationare fundamental to creating jobs, growth and prosperity -- both in Canada and in Italy. For this reason our Embassy gives a high level of attention to supporting Canada-Italy business and research partnerships, through the Science, Technology and Innovation programme of our Trade Commissioner Service. We provide advice and guidance to innovative Canadian and Italian companies seeking partners in the other market, and also promote Canada as a top-tier destination for investment by Italian companies wishing to enter the North American market, particularly when it comes to innovation and technology. For this reason, we work closely with organizations like Veneto Innovazione, to get to know good Italian companies, technologies and research, and jointly determine how to best match them with Canadian connections so that both sides benefit. Innovative Italian companies and research organizations interested in partnering with Canada can get in touch with Tyler Wordsworth, responsible for our Innovation Program".
 
This year Canada has become member of Enterprise Europe Network, are there initiatives being organised inside the network?
"We are not wasting any time here in Italy to leverage the exciting development of Canada's membership in the Enterprise Europe Network. In fact, it was under the mentorship of Veneto Innovazione's Head of Technology Transfer, Dr. Marco Gorini, that Canada became a member, a testimony to the significant role of the Canada-Italy innovation relationship in the broader Canada-EU picture. At the end of November, Jayson Myers, President of the Canadian Manufacturers' and Exporters Association, which is Canada's EEN contact point, will be speaking in Milan to an audience of Italy's key businesses. The Embassy is also working on our first joint initiative with EEN, a Canadian "Space Innovation" Mission to Italy, also in late November. Fifteen Canadian companies and researchers in the Space sector will be coming to Italy for business meetings, site visits, an innovation roundtable, and an EEN brokerage event. We also hope to be able to match Canadian and Italian partners to successfully collaborate on the Horizons 2020 Space Sector Calls".
 
You came here also to start partnerships with Veneto universities, would you anticipate anything?
"Universities are absolutely fundamental to the innovation ecosystem. Companies really like partnering with these intrinsically creative places, which are often ground zero for the development of new technologies that can have future commercial applications. As an example, the University of Windsor, Chrysler, Politecnico di Torino and FIAT have established a joint international degree program in Automotive Engineering. Chrysler-FIAT and the McMaster University Automotive Resource Centre (MARC) have also just entered into a milestone partnership to develop next-generation electrified powertrains and technology to reduce the weight of vehicles. These are the types of things we hope to also do with Veneto universities. University-to-university pure research and student exchange partnerships are also very important to us. To support these different types of partnerships, we will again this year be accepting applications for the Canada-Italy Innovation Award, which last year awarded four Italian researchers seed money to travel to Canada to further develop partnerships, including the University of Padova, which is exploring life science partnerships with the University of Regina in the province of Saskatchewan. The results have been very positive".
 
Are there other important cooperations between Canada and Italy beyond industrial exchanges?
"Canada and Italy's people-to-people ties are longstanding and vibrant, with a large and dynamic Italo-Canadian community playing a valuable role in supporting this important bilateral relationship. Our academic relationship is reinforced by approximately 170 inter-university agreements and private-public academic partnerships that generate new ideas and research projects, build relationships, and encourage youth mobility. At the same time, Italy is among the top twenty largest importers of Canadian cultural goods, while it represents the eighth most important source of cultural imports into Canada. There are two cultural agreements in force: one on cultural co-operation and one on film co-productions. Canada also has a permanent Pavilion at the Venice Biennale where a Canadian artist and architect represent the country in alternate years at the International Visual Arts or Architecture Exhibition. Finally, Canada and Italy have a very popular bilateral Working-Holiday Program, which every year permits 1000 young Canadians and Italians between the age of 18 and 35 to work and travel in each others' country for up to 6 months".
 
 

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Veneto Innovazione Spa - Via Ca' Marcello 67/D - 30172 Venezia Mestre

Cod. Fisc., P.Iva 02568090274 e n. iscrizione Registro Imprese di Venezia: 225448

Società soggetta all’attività di direzione e coordinamento ex art. 2497 bis c.c. del socio unico Regione del Veneto
Tel.: (+39) 041 8685301 - Fax: (+39) 041 5322133 - E-Mail: info@venetoinnovazione.it

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