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NSERC enhances scientific ties with France


Ottawa, ON – The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has signed an agreement to increase scientific collaboration between Canada and France, and fund joint research projects in priority areas conducted by teams from the two countries.

NSERC president, Suzanne Fortier, announced the agreement between NSERC and France’s Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR). The Memorandum of Understanding between the two agencies is designed to strengthen the collaboration between Canadian and French public research and innovation communities to achieve world-class scientific and technical results, leading towards new innovative technologies.

“It makes sense to join forces when our priorities align,” said Dr Fortier. “In today’s world, international teamwork is more important than ever. This new step in our relationship with ANR will increase our connection with the global supply of ideas, talent and technology.”

The agreement will offer teams of French and Canadian researchers an opportunity to apply to their respective agencies for grants that support research projects in priority areas. The agencies expect to fund 10 to 15 projects in the first year.

Research proposals must include the participation of a Canadian industrial partner, and will be evaluated based on their scientific quality and relevance. Canadian scientists will apply through NSERC’s Strategic Project Grants program while their French counterparts will apply to ANR’s International Programme Blanc. Results of the initial competition are expected to be announced in fall 2009.

The two agencies have identified four research areas as priorities for the first competition: advanced communication technologies and management of information, biomedical technologies, manufacturing, and healthy environment and ecosystems.