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Canada-Italy Innovation Award 2018

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The Embassy of Canada to Italy is pleased to accept applications for the Canada-Italy Innovation Award 2018. This award provides funding to Italian innovation experts, researchers, scientists, and startuppers to undertake a trip to Canada to develop collaborative projects.


The Canada-Italy Innovation Award aims to develop new and existing relationships between Canadian and Italian experts into long-term collaborations.  Applications are open to Italian innovation experts, researchers, scientists, and startuppers connected with Canadian counterparts, to be identified by applicants.  Ideal outcomes include joint publications and research projects; student/researcher exchange programmes; sharing of equipment, materials and facilities; exchange of skills and techniques; institutional linkages; applied technology development; and technology transfer.  The development of innovative models of collaboration is strongly encouraged.  Initial outcomes should be delivered over the first 6 to 12 months following the visit and lead to the development of long-term relationships.

Scope & Priority Areas

  • The Embassy of Canada to Italy aims to support the development of strong, targeted relationships between leading individuals, researchers and institutions in Italy and their counterparts in Canada.
  • Projects considered for the award must address the sub questions detailed below. These are aligned with the Government of Canada Policy on Gender Equality and with the future challenge areas resulting from an extensive foresight exercise led by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). Please ensure your project responds to at least one of these objectives and sub questions.

1. 0 Gender Equality Year, Special Project 2018

If you have an innovative idea, of all sorts, to improve the Gender Equality in our societies, here is an opportunity for its promotion. Be creative!

Definition of Gender Equality:

  • Gender equality means that women and men enjoy the same status and have equal opportunity to realize their full human rights and potential to contribute to national, political, economic, social and cultural development, and to benefit from the results.
  • Addressing gender equality requires that women's views, interests and needs shape the development agenda as much as men's, and that the development agenda supports progress toward more equal relations between women and men.

Projects have to address one or more of these objectives:

  • To advance women's equal participation with men as decision makers in shaping the sustainable development of our societies;
  • To support women and girls in the realization of their full human rights; and
  • To reduce gender inequalities in access to and control over the resources and benefits of development.

2. 0 An interconnected, evolving global landscape

In order to thrive in the 21st century, we all require a deeper understanding of our own societies, including languages, cultures, histories, economic impacts, and processes of integration within our respective countries, between Canada and Italy, and with the world.

Sub questions:

  • How might global events play out in local spaces, and how might they affect a country’s position in a rapidly evolving and shifting world?
  • How might changes in global trade patterns and international relations affect a country’s position?
  • How might increased understanding about interconnected dispersed communities affect a country economically, socially and culturally?
  • What deep, systemic knowledge of the world’s emerging regions might help a country respond to emerging opportunities and risks?
  • What does a country need in order to build resilience and safeguard stability, peace, and public security in the face of global shocks such as natural disasters and emerging conflicts?
  • How might increased understanding of Canada’s model of a diverse civil society contribute to insights and understanding in every society impacted by migration in the 21st century?

3.0 Emerging technologies

New digital and other technologies, such as 3D printing and robotics, are developing at breakneck speed. In order to benefit from, integrate and adapt to these technologies effectively, we need to understand their ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social implications. The world needs social scientists and humanities scholars to focus on these questions. By understanding how the latest tools can be used to both answer and ask questions, we as a society can stay ahead of the curve, mitigate risks and take advantage of emerging opportunities.

Sub questions:

  • What is needed in order to maximize equitable access to information and communication technologies, foster digital literacy, and mitigate digital divides?
  • In what ways might emerging technologies affect the behavior of citizens in all aspects of their lives, institutions and governments?
  • Why does society need to understand the risks, opportunities and related ethical questions raised by the adoption of emergent and disruptive technologies (e.g., 3D printing, robotics, nanotechnology, fracking, drones)?
  • How can citizens, organizations and governments balance competing needs of security and privacy in an increasingly “open” society?
  • How might Canadians and Italians be affected by new developments in “big data,” data analytics and information management?
  • How might space exploration be important for the future of research, education, and inspiration?

4.0 Global peak population

Global peak population is rekindling debates about population distribution, youth and aging, immigration, migration, urban versus rural lifestyles, societal values and “carrying capacity of the earth” with respect to resources, and climate change implications. In this context, what are the potential social, cultural, economic and environmental implications?

Sub questions:

  • What do we need to understand in order to effectively nurture the next generations?
  • What might Canadian and Italian families look like in five, 10, and 20 years, and how might they measure their well-being?
  • Life cycle issues are challenging society. What are the future implications of state regulation from cradle to grave?
  • What effect will global migration have on our cities of the future?
  • How could changing demographics and migration affect rural and remote communities?
  • What are the potential impacts of global peak population with respect to energy and resource consumption and climate change?

5.0 New ways of learning

Canada and Italy, like many other countries, are at a tipping point in the way their education systems, especially higher education, are conceptualized, structured and delivered in light of the knowledge and skills required for the 21st century. Debates are emerging in the research community and other sectors regarding the best way to deliver that learning.

Sub questions:

  • What knowledge, skills and delivery methods are required in order for the public education system to create an innovative, resilient and culturally rich society?
  • What aspirations and expectations will a diverse and global citizenry bring to work environments, jobs and labour markets of the future?
  • What conditions are needed for new models of research—particularly, co creation of knowledge with the public, private and/or not for profit sectors—to flourish?
  • What roles will emerging and/or disruptive information and communication technologies play in learning for individuals, institutions and society?
  • What role should individuals, institutions and governments play in promoting and supporting the life cycle of knowledge, including creation, accessibility, retention and mobilization, across sectors, both domestically and internationally?
  • How can we harness strength and innovation in the arts, digital media and cultural industries to build social, economic and cultural well-being?

Funding Scope

Awards are to support the applicant’s travel to Canada. The value of an award will be up to a maximum of €3,000 (EUR). Expenses that are eligible for reimbursement include economy class airfare (not premium economy), accommodation, local transportation and a €60 (EUR) per diem.  No other costs will be considered.

Eligibility and Funding Criteria

The Canada-Italy Innovation Award is available to Italian innovation experts, researchers, scientists, and startuppers collaborating with Canadian partners. Private/public partnerships are encouraged.

Funding through the Canada-Italy Innovation Award is to support a short visit to Canada by the Italian awardee.

Successful applicants will be required to complete a report immediately following the visit and must commit to providing brief updates on follow-up activities and outcomes 6 and 12 months after the visit.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria: 

  • Degree of innovation of the proposed project
  • Quality of proposed outcomes and expected ability for their delivery
  • Relevance to Canadian priorities described above
  • Potential for significant, long-term collaboration
  • Potential to broaden the collaboration to a wider, institutional level
  • Use of creative / innovative collaboration models
  • Innovative use of research infrastructures

Special consideration will be given to applications that demonstrate why the proposed research would particularly benefit from an international collaboration.

Applications will be reviewed by the Embassy of Canada to Italy in collaboration with relevant experts.

How to Apply

Applications should be made on the Canada-Italy Innovation Award application form and submitted according to the instructions.

Disbursement of the Canada-Italy Innovation Award

Canada-Italy Innovation Award funds will be provided as reimbursement for incurred expenses. Receipts, invoices, and expense summaries, as well as a letter by the Canadian partner, must be returned together with a final report before payment will be issued. Disbursement of funds is contingent upon return of all requested documentation.

Important Dates

  • April 2, 2018 (11:59 pm, Rome time) - Deadline for applications
  • May 15, 2018 - Announcement of Award winner(s)
  • November 15, 2018 - Deadline for completion of Award travel to Canada
  • Within 2 weeks of return - Final report and expenditure records due
  • Completed applications should be sent to
  • Please write “Canada-Italy Innovation Award” in the subject line of your message.

All applicants will receive by email first an acknowledgment of receipt of their submission and later a notification of its status. Winners will be further notified and announced on the Embassy website and social media accounts. All other applicants will not be subject of additional communications regarding their submission.


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