Israel, Quebec set up $12 million bilateral R&D program

Program aims to boost joint industrial projects, foster long-term alliances between firms and entities

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

View of Montreal from Mount Royal on March 8, 2015. (CC BY-SA Wikimedia commons)
View of Montreal from Mount Royal on March 8, 2015. (CC BY-SA Wikimedia commons)

Canada’s Province of Québec and the Israel Innovation Authority have launched a $12 million bilateral program, with both parties committing $3 million over 5 years to support Québec-Israel industrial R&D projects. This $6 million investment will be matched by participating research partners, bringing the figure to $12 million.

The Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation will administer the program on behalf of the Province of Québec. The initiative will support industry-led collaboration, including partnerships between small and medium-sized enterprises, large firms and academic institutions, to support the joint development of innovative technologies.

“In addition to supporting the development of innovative companies, this initiative will help foster fruitful and long-term alliances between companies and organizations involved in joint projects in Québec and Israel,” said Dominique Anglade, minister of Economy, Science and Innovation of Québec, in a statement.

“International partnerships in R&D and innovation have become a must in the world today,” added Anglade. “For Québec companies and research teams, it means access to world-renowned expertise and new markets. Israel’s leadership in technology, research and innovation makes it a partner of choice to develop advanced technologies and state-of-the-art commercialization tools. Ultimately, this initiative will help reinforce the working relationship between our innovation agencies.”

Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority (Courtesy)
Aharon Aharon, CEO of the Israel Innovation Authority (Courtesy)

Projects, which may include technology and knowledge applications, product customization, near commercialization or new market creation, are expected to contribute economically to both Québec and Israel and to take place primarily in the two jurisdictions.

“The agreement will enable Québec and Israel to strengthen their collaboration in the realms of industrial research and innovation. In this way, we can support visionary projects that will create synergy between Québec and Israel and promote expertise and innovative technologies on both sides. I am convinced that this agreement will pave the way for the establishment of profitable partnerships between Québec and Israeli researchers and businesses, for the benefit of our respective economies,” said Aharon Aharon, chief executive officer of the Israel Innovation Authority.

Israeli and Québec-based companies are asked to present cooperative proposals, which will be vetted for feasibility. Funding will be awarded to those companies demonstrating promising partnerships and near-term potential for commercialization, as well as economic benefit in both jurisdictions.

Teams must submit a two-step application, including a bilateral cooperation form that describes the project and the collaboration envisioned between the Québec company and the Israeli company. Applications open on June 1.

Separately, Jerusalem-based crowdfunding VC OurCrowd signed a memorandum of understanding with HEC Montreal, The Business School of the University of Montreal, to work together to identify promising technologies and help commercialize and fund them.

The MOU was signed as part of the Monday visit of the premier of Quebec, Philippe Couillard, to the OurCrowd offices in Jerusalem with a delegation of businesspeople who are focused on accelerating Quebec’s role in key sectors including life science, telecoms, and artificial intelligence.

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