P17: Enriching International Research Collaboration Opportunities for Canada: ERA-Can Plus and Brazil

Friday, November 22, 2013 - 10:30am to 12:00pm

This panel discusses recent initiatives to build research and innovation partnerships between Canada and other regions of the world. Drawing on two projects that seek to strengthen Canadian relations with Europe and Brazil, the panel will illustrate connections between international science diplomacy, trade, and university-private sector innovation dynamics. Speakers will also discuss why international research and innovation collaboration is of growing importance for the internationalization of Canadian university campuses, and fundamental to Canada’s global competitiveness.
Looking first to Europe, the session will present ERA-Can Plus, a new project aimed at promoting research and innovation cooperation between Canada and the European Union. Participants will learn about opportunities for Canadian companies, students and scholars to participate in EU research cooperation, mobility and innovation programs, as well as the on-going policy dialogue in areas of mutual scientific interest between Canada and the EU.
The background to the ERA-Can Plus project is that the European Commission’s latest funding program, named Horizon2020, will be launched in fall 2013 with a budget of over €70 billion. The ERA-Can Plus projects aims to raise awareness of the multiple research and innovation program opportunities for Canadians. It builds on two previous ERA-Can projects that have made significant inroads in expanding Canadian participation in European projects and improving bilateral relations between Canada and the EU. During the presentation, the speakers will present past successes, noting strong fields for research collaboration, as well as institutional representation in previous projects.
Looking second to Brazil, the panel will discuss the importance of higher education and science and technology in the Canada-Brazil bilateral relationship, including an AUCC delegation of higher education leaders to Brazil in April 2012. As the largest delegation of its kind to travel from Canada, the mission represented an effort by the university community to position Canada in Brazil as a partner of choice in research, innovation and higher education.
The AUCC mission represented strategic follow-up to recent high-level visits by the Canadian Prime Minister and cabinet ministers to Brazil in June and August 2011 and leveraged efforts of the Canada-Brazil Joint Committee for Cooperation on Science, Technology and Innovation.
Led by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, and accompanied by several senior level officials, the delegation travelled to four cities and met with more than 100 leaders from Brazilian higher education institutions, research facilities, federal government and the private sector. This 10 day mission led to the announcement of many new initiatives, including: Canadian universities launching 75 new partnership, scholarship and mobility programs valued at $6.7 million (CAD); Mitacs announcing $10.25 million investment in undergraduate internships and graduate fellowships; and, the Governor General of Canada and President of Brazil announcing that Canada will host up to 12,000 Brazilian students at all levels of education under the Brazilian Science without Borders program over the next four years. This enables Canada to play host to top Brazilian students in key science and engineering disciplines, and deepens the science and technology relationship between our countries.
Taken together, these two initiatives provide examples of different policy approaches to enrich the academic and scientific relationship between Canada and regions of strategic importance. While serving the higher education and research community’s interests, these bilateral initiatives also further strengthen research collaboration for innovation-driven economic development and increase Canada’s visibility in and access to global networks. Moreover, they demonstrate how sector-led initiatives give life to government priorities and illustrate the powerful role that Canada’s higher education and research community can play in advancing international trade and diplomatic relationships.


Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada

Paul Davidson has played leadership roles in government, the private sector and the voluntary sector for over 20 years.
He joined AUCC in May 2009 as President and CEO, where he has led a process of organizational renewal and greater member engagement. In addition to increases in research funding, Mr. Davidson has achieved increased resources for campus internationalization and increased attention to issues of access and success for aboriginal students. Mr. Davidson has been named both a “top lobbyist” in Ottawa and a “top foreign policy influencer.”
Prior to joining AUCC, Mr. Davidson was the executive director of World University Service of Canada (WUSC) a leading international development agency active on 70 campuses across Canada, and 17 countries overseas.
Mr. Davidson also held senior positions in Canadian book publishing including five years as executive director of the Association of Canadian Publishers. In the early 1990s, Mr. Davidson led the Toronto office of a prominent government relations firm after having served as a political advisor to Ontario’s Leader of the Opposition, Treasurer and Deputy Premier.
Mr. Davidson holds an MA from Queen’s University where he studied southern African history, and a BA from Trent University, where he was in the first class of the Trent International Program.
Mr. Davidson is married to Elly Vandenberg, and they have three sons.

Executive Vice-President
Public Policy Forum

Paul Ledwell is Executive Vice-President at the Public Policy Forum, where he leads the Forum’s major work on innovation, the economy and public governance, and provides thought leadership in key policy areas, including health, public finance, and labour force issues.

Executive Vice President

Ted comes to SSHRC from Western University, where he served as
vice-president, research and international relations, from 2004 to 2011.
Under his leadership, Western’s research funding increased from $125
million to $220 million, and he became a leading figure among
research-intensive universities across Canada.

He has served as public policy scholar at the Brazil Institute at the
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.,
and as professor of sociology at Western University. A leading Canadian
authority on Brazil, his work has appeared in monographs, edited works
and a range of academic journals, including Cities, Journal of Latin
American Studies, Journal of Developing Areas, Third World Quarterly,
and Habitat International. In 2002, he was named commander of the Order
of Rio Branco by Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Relations.

Ted’s recent research has focused on national and international
innovation systems, with emphasis on the roles played by universities,
industry and government in promoting economic prosperity in the
21st-century economy. He is the academic representative on the
Canada-Brazil Science and Technology Joint Committee, and a member of
the boards of International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada
and the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce.

Ted holds a PhD in sociology from McMaster University