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Prime Minister Announces New CANADA-INDIA Research Centre of Excellence

New Delhi, INDIA, November 6, 2012 – Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced that the Government of Canada has selected the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS) as the winner of the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence (CIRCE) competition announced in Budget 2011.

The goal of the competition – which was run by the Networks of Centres of Excellence – was to select a Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence, open to proposals in all areas of research, that would accelerate the bilateral exchange of research and enhance Canada’s international visibility and reputation as a research leader. 

“Canada needs to be connected to an international supply of ideas, research, talent and technologies in order to prosper in an increasingly competitive global environment,” said Prime Minister Harper.  “This new Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence will build stronger bilateral research ties and create valuable learning opportunities while generating positive economic and social benefits for both countries.”

IC-IMPACTS – which is being spearheaded by the University of British Columbia in collaboration with the University of Alberta, the University of Toronto and various public and private sector partners in Canada and India – will bring together a team of Canadian and Indian researchers, industry representatives, community leaders, not-for-profit organizations and government agencies that will focus on three key areas: safe drinking water, reliable infrastructure, such as well-constructed hospitals, and effective prevention and treatment of water-borne and infectious diseases.

The centre will develop and implement solutions to these issues in partner communities in India and Canada, providing a real-world testing ground, with the goal of sharing effective solutions with other communities.

Support for the CIRCE initiative was provided in Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2011 as part of the Government’s India Engagement Strategy. 


Backgrounder

The Government of Canada is committed to establishing the international science and technology partnerships that yield social and economic benefits for Canada.  It is also committed to building on strong bilateral ties with India to create new opportunities and strengthen the economies of both countries.

To help meet these objectives, on November 6, 2012, Prime Minister Harper announced that the Government of Canada has selected the India-Canada Centre for Innovative Multidisciplinary Partnerships to Accelerate Transformation and Sustainability (IC-IMPACTS) as the winner of the Canada-India Research Centre of Excellence (CIRCE) competition announced in Economic Action Plan 2011.   

The goal of the competition – which was run by the Networks of Centres of Excellence – was to establish a centre that:

  • raises Canada’s reputation as a research leader internationally by partnering with India on cutting-edge initiatives;
  • provides a training environment to develop Canadian/Indian researchers with skills and knowledge in areas critical to the productivity, economic growth, public policy and quality of life of both countries and promote exchanges among them;
  • expands established collaborations with Indian organizations to develop coordinated partnerships that will generate social, economic, technological and wellness impacts in both countries;
  • enhances bilateral dissemination of knowledge, sharing of resources and technology; and,
  • leverages existing Canada-India collaborative frameworks to provide an efficient, cost-effective and streamlined delivery mechanism for the proposed centre.

IC-IMPACTS, the competition winner, will bring together a team of expert researchers, industry innovators, community leaders, government agencies, and community organizations from both Canada and India to address three important issues that affect millions of people: safe and available drinking water, effective public health by preventing and treating disease, and reliable civil infrastructure, such as well constructed bridges and hospitals.

The centre will develop and implement solutions to these issues in partner communities in India and Canada, providing a real-world testing ground, with the goal of sharing effective solutions with other communities. The centre will receive government support of $13.8 million over five years. This funding will be administered through the Networks of Centres of Excellence program.

The centre, which is being spearheaded by Scientific Director Dr. Nemkumar Banthia of the University of British Columbia in collaboration with the University of Alberta, University of Toronto and various public and private sector partners in Canada and India, will undertake international research, explore ways of commercializing this research, and establish community partnerships. Its activities will open new markets to Canadian and Indian industry while placing a strong emphasis on training a new generation of talented professionals to lead future research and innovation activities.

By producing and implementing new technologies and treatments, IC-IMPACTS will help improve public health, spark economic prosperity, and create positive social change. The legacy of IC-IMPACTS will be that joint training and knowledge sharing between Canada and India produced healthy and sustainable communities in both countries.