Science, Technology and Innovation officers in our Embassy in Washington and in Consulates across the U.S. promote cross border innovation collaboration involving a wide range of leading edge technologies. These collaborations are developed by engaging researchers in academia, government institutes and labs, start-up firms and a wide array established companies.
The work of the Science, Technology and Innovation officers provides valuable expertise by: communicating market intelligence to technology developers and promoters; targetting promising technology niches where abundant Canadian capability exists and US opportunities abound; facilitating the development of collaborative relationships that can attract financing; identifying entry points to access distribution networks; manoeuvring in the sometimes complex regulatory environments; associating match making activities with highly visible technology events; selecting companies for one on one engagement to pursue technology development, licensing, and collaboration agreements that ultimately may lead to formal partnering and technology commercialization.
The Canadian Embassy in Washington also assumes a policy role in working very closely with senior policy makers from provincial and federal research organisations and academic institutions. Our science, technology and innovation officers analyse and the implications of key world-wide, US and Canadian developments for Canadian clientele and American counterparts. They introduce Canadian scientists and policy makers to their most appropriate American counterparts and foster the ongoing development and maintenance of these relationships. The Embassy’s team also prepares a newsletter focussing on Science, Technology and Innovation issues in the U.S. Please email Jérôme Pischella (S&T Counsellor), to request a copy.
The history of research in Canada is closely linked to our rich natural resources, with the establishment of the Geological Survey of Canada in 1842 as our first scientific agency. The great expanse of the country also demands innovative transportation and communication technology. These are fields in which Canada has excelled from the first long distance telephone call in Ontario, the invention of the walkie-talkie and radio sonar, to the first use of domestic communications satellites. Canadian innovation in these fields continues to lead the world today.
Canadian innovators have been responsible for groundbreaking technologies that have changed the way the world lives and prospers. From the light bulb (Henry Woodward) to the telephone (Alexander Graham Bell), from the discovery of insulin (Frederick Banting) to proving the existence of stem cells, (James Till, Ernest McCulloch) from the Imax film format to the Blackberry communication device, Canadian science, technology and innovation takes its place among the greats.
The information and communication technologies (ICT) industry remains Canada’s strongest R&D investor. The industry is made up of a vast network of firms, with sector hubs in Toronto, Montréal, Québec City and Ottawa. Canada’s aerospace industry, the world’s fourth largest, is made up of roughly 500 firms and employs over 5,000 aerospace engineers. Benefiting from Montréal’s four major research universities, more than half of Canada’s aerospace firms are located in the Greater Montréal area. Canada’s life sciences sector is second only the U.S. in the number of biotech firms. Annual investment in biotechnology research and development have surpassed $3 billion with Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver having established themselves as world class biotech clusters.
Canada’s scientists and engineers include such Nobel prize winners as Sir Frederick Banting, who discovered insulin with his research group at the University of Toronto, Gerhard Herzberg, a pioneering physicist and physical chemist, John Polanyi, for his work on the dynamics of chemical elementary processes, Bertram Brockhouse, for the development of neutron spectroscopy, and Rudolf Marcus, for his work on the theory of electron transfer reactions.