French Prime Minister visit in Canada : focus on Innovation and Science [fr]
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, today announced five initiatives that will further strengthen relations between the two countries in the areas of youth mobility, social security, science and technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, climate change, and the commemoration of Canadian and French involvement in 20th century conflicts.
They announced together the Joint Action Plan Canada-France 2013-2015 in the Fields of Science and Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Two other bilateral partnerships have been concluded between the University of Toronto and Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7, and between CEA and NRC.
The Joint Action Plan will strengthen partnerships linking industry, government, and universities to promote the mobility of students and researchers, and will foster innovation by supporting basic and applied research, and commercializing new technologies.
The Action Plan will foster various forms of collaboration, including exchanges of scientific knowledge, seminars, business and technology partnerships, and the shared use of resources and technology.
Focus areas include: health; sustainable development and renewable energy; agriculture and agrifood; space and aerospace; ocean and marine technologies; information and communication technologies; innovation policy; entrepreneurship; and, social innovation.
France and Canada have a long history of successful collaboration in the areas of science, technology and innovation dating back to 1965 with the signing of a Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement. Both France and Canada offer world leading expertise in science and technology, and continued collaboration will present significant opportunities for both countries to develop competitive advantages within the global marketplace through the commercialization of new technologies.
This tradition of cooperation between both countries was reinforced in 2008 with the signing of a joint plan of action on business development, investment and innovation, by the Trade Ministers of France and Canada. This action plan was renewed in November 2012.
The value of this cooperation is illustrated by successful trade missions in technologically advanced areas of carbon capture and storage, biomass conversion technologies, neurodegenerative diseases, and personalised medicine. These initiatives also speak to the enduring interest in cooperation on market driven research and development within both the private and public sectors.
The agreement has been signed by Mr Philippe Zeller, Ambassador of France in Canada, and Mrs Judith Wolfson, Vice-President University Relations in the University of Toronto. This agreement formalizes the collaboration between the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Toronto and the Magistère of Genetics of the Université Paris Diderot – Paris 7. It will support exchanges of students for research internships in epigenetics.
The training internships will also contribute to the creation of a structured and enduring partnership between the University of Toronto and the University of Paris Diderot – Paris 7, in terms of both training and research. Following the completion of these training internships, the goal is to direct the aforementioned partnership towards regular and reciprocal student exchanges, co-supervised theses, and joint research projects.
The NRC (National Research Council) and the CEA (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies alternatives / French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) are already under a global agreement since 2008. For more than one year, the CEA and the NRC have been multiplying meetings about the effects of micro-algal exploitation on energy production. The CEA Chairman Bernard Bigot has joined the French Prime Minister delegation to sign with the president of NRC, John MacDougall, a new specific agreement on the effect of gaseous nitric oxide (NO) on microalgal growth and metabolism.
The capture of carbon dioxide (CO2) by microalgae to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requires the introduction of flue gases from industrial sources into the algal culture. In addition to CO2, nitrogen oxide gases (collectively known as NOx) are often a significant constituent of industrial flue gases. Industrial scale cultivation of microalgae on certain types of flue-gases could potentially remove as much as 1.83 tonnes of CO2 and about 150 kg of NOx per tonne of biomass produced. Nitric oxide (NO), the most prevalent of the NOx gases (as much as 90%), slowly reacts with atmospheric oxygen to form NO2, a GHG that also contributes to acid rain.
The research project will be headed by Eric Maréchal (iRSTV team in Grenoble, CEA), Gilles Peltier (LB3M team in Cadarache, CEA) and Pat McGinn (NRC in Halifax).
Created on March 13th, 2013