Presidents and Senior Executives of 13 leading Canadian research-focused universities, along with President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Suzanne Fortier, engaged with some 21 German universities and 12 German institutes/organisations, including the big four: Max Planck, Helmholtz, Fraunhofer and Leibniz.
These meetings (also referred to as the U-15 meetings) were the final act in the 40th Anniversary celebrations of the 1971 signing of the bilateral Science and Technology cooperation agreement between Canada and Germany, and were held at the Canadian Embassy in Berlin. Participants explored various topics during these two days including research standards; mobility of young scholars and researchers; bottom-up initiatives for cooperation; areas for joint research like climate change, energy, neuroscience, materials science, and e-mobility; as well as interdisciplinary approaches to research.
Mike Lake, Canadian Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Industry, witnessed the signing of four MOU agreements during a ceremony concluding a year of celebrations around this anniversary, together with Thomas Rachel, Parliamentary State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research; Svenja Schulze, North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister of Science; and Ambassador Peter M.Boehm.
MOUs were signed between:
- University of Waterloo and University of Bochum (Electrical Engineering)
- University of Alberta and RWTH Aachen (Mobility)
Parliamentary Secretary Mike Lake noted that: “The German and Canadian governments share a commitment to science and technology as a way of ensuring future prosperity. By promoting stronger linkages between our researchers and innovators, we are building relationships that will benefit both of our economies.”
More than 500 joint research projects have been carried out over the past 40 years within the framework of the Canada-Germany S&T agreement. The signature of the latest MOUs was a reminder of the significant potential for cooperation and will contribute to prosperity in both Canada and Germany.
The universities taking part in this Berlin visit alone spend approximately 5.2 billion Canadian dollars annually on research and development. Measured as a percentage of GDP, Canada’s higher education expenditures on research and development are the highest in the G7.