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The Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and Sergio Machado Rezende, Brazil's Minister of Science and Technology, today signed the Canada-Brazil Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation. The agreement will boost collaborative research and development activities and lead to the commercialization of new ideas.
"Canada understands the importance of establishing partnerships in international research and development, and the critical role science and technology play in the new economy," said Minister Day. "We are pleased to sign this agreement with Brazil, which will forge vital, commercially rewarding alliances and partnerships with one of the largest and most diversified economies in the Americas."
The agreement will promote greater collaboration in research and development (R&D) between Brazil and Canada in areas of mutual interest. These areas include aerospace, agriculture, biotechnology, nanotechnology, pharmaceuticals, information and communications technology, and renewable energy development. Experience shows that for every dollar Canada spends on such programs, partners contribute $7.50.
Under the agreement, Canada will contribute a total of $1.5 million over the next two years toward this agreement. Fund are available to support up to half of the costs of R&D arrangements and contracts between Canadian and Brazilian companies, governments, academia and science and research institutes.
The science and technology agreement builds on Canada's important commercial and political relations with Brazil, the 10th-largest economy in the world. Merchandise trade between the two countries reached nearly $4.9 billion in 2007. Accumulated Canadian investment in Brazil reached $8.8 billion in the same year, making Brazil the 10th-largest destination for Canadian direct investment. In 2007, Brazil was the seventh-largest source of foreign direct investment in Canada, with $12.8 billion in stock.
Science and technology agreements are an important part of Canada's Global Commerce Strategy, which provides $50 million per year to develop the country's trade and investment interests at home and abroad.
Canada has identified Brazil as a priority market, and Brazil is an important part of Canada's Americas Strategy, a policy of engagement based on the promotion and enhancement of security, prosperity and democratic governance.
Canada-Brazil Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation
In May 2007, Prime Minister Stephen Harper released Canada's national science and technology strategy. The strategy aims to strengthen Canada's economy and to fuel technological progress by linking the competitive energy of the country's entrepreneurs and the creative genius of its scientists with global partners.
The strategy is also designed to boost private-sector investment in research and development, and enrolment in university science and engineering programs, in order to build science and technology (S&T) assets and expertise for Canada's future.
The Canada-Brazil Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement is the fourth cooperation agreement Canada has signed under its International Science and Technology Partnership Program. This $20 million, five-year program, administered by Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, supports bilateral S&T collaboration with Brazil, China, India and Israel. Delivered through an arm's-length organization, International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTPCanada), the program funds cost-shared research and development projects put forward by industry and academic research institutions. ISTPCanada has demonstrated that for every dollar it spends on the projects, its partners spend another $7.50.
Canada also has S&T agreements with the European Union, France, Germany, and Japan, as well as memorandums of understanding on S&T with Chile and South Korea.
Brazil has launched an ambitious $26.7-billion Science, Technology and Innovation Plan of Action for National Development 2007-10. Its objectives include expanding innovation and promoting commercialization and the use of innovation in social development.
Activities under the Canada-Brazil Framework Agreement for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation will be overseen by a joint S&T cooperation committee composed of representatives from the business, academic and government communities in both countries.
The signed agreement will follow the Government of Canada's treaty policy in Parliament. Accompanied by an explanatory memorandum, it will be tabled in the House of Commons. The government will then observe a waiting period of 21 sitting days during which debate may occur. After this period has elapsed, the agreement may be ratified.
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Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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