Canada-Israel Science and Technology Fund

February 13, 2013 -- The Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF) today launched the Canada-Israel Energy Science and Technology Fund (the CIEST Fund) to facilitate the bilateral development and commercialization of innovative technologies and processes applied to the energy sector. This fund complements the Canada-Israel Innovation Initiative managed by MATIMOP, the executive agency of the Office of the Chief Scientist (OCS), and the National Research Council Canada (NRC) and creates new mechanisms for two-way R&D cooperation in energy. It will promote the sustainable development of unconventional oil and gas resources, and applications that address environmental challenges. The fund will also encourage scientific projects that aim to harvest new renewable energy sources of interest to both countries. The emerging bilateral partnerships could yield groundbreaking new technologies that enable Canadian and Israeli innovators to capitalize on the evolving global unconventional oil and gas market.

The Government of Canada is committing $5 million to the CIEST Fund over the next three years with matching funds to be allocated by OCS in Israel’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor on a project-by-project basis. NSERC will fund the Canadian academic portion (researchers from universities and colleges) in partnership with Canadian industry through Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) and Applied Research and Development (ARD) grants. Leveraging investment from both countries, the fund is expected to generate up to $40 million in collaborative R&D.

Managed by CIIRDF in Canada and OCS/MATIMOP in Israel, the CIEST Fund will enable Canadian and Israeli companies and academic researchers to cooperate on the development of new innovations that address shared energy priorities. The primary focus of the fund is unconventional oil and gas with approximately 75 percent targeted to initiatives in this field. Other areas of focus include: energy efficiency in buildings, communities, industry and 2 transportation; bioenergy and clean electricity generation; and the electrification of transportation.

CIIRDF will facilitate bilateral industry-academic collaboration in energy by establishing R&D consortia, and maximizing the capabilities, resources and expertise of all contributing Canadian and Israeli partners. It will launch the first CIEST Fund Call for Proposals in April 2013.

The fund will capitalize on many synergies between the two nations. Israel is home to hundreds of technology-based SMEs with internationally recognized expertise in materials, intelligent systems, water technologies, robotics and unmanned systems, sensors, imaging and other ‘enabling’ technologies. Canada has the third largest crude oil reserves in the world with 97 percent based in the Alberta oil sands, and the country is expected to become the fourth-largest oil producer in the world by 2035. With a national energy industry and extensive technological knowhow in unconventional oil and gas, Canada is well positioned as an ideal technology partner.

The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, and Dr. Uzi Landau, Israel’s Minister of Energy and Water Resources, announced the creation of the CIEST Fund on October 29, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The fund is a direct outcome of the Statement of Cooperation in the Energy Sector signed between Canada and Israel in June 2012.

"This initiative encourages the development of innovative technologies that will enable the responsible development of unconventional oil and gas resources," said Minister Oliver. "It will create jobs, generate economic opportunities and further demonstrates the important relationship between our two countries."

"CIESTF will combine Israel’s technological and commercialization expertise, and Canadian know-how in unconventional oil and gas, and apply this knowledge to some of our greatest challenges in the energy sector," said Avi Hasson, Chief Scientist of Israel. "This fund builds on decades of successful Canada-Israel S&T collaboration through CIIRDF. CIESTF will stimulate the development of novel technologies that build our domestic energy industry, and address the global need for innovative energy solutions. This will increase the competitiveness of Israeli firms, and help to position Israel as an emerging leader in clean technology."

"Drawing on our proven model and 18-year track record in facilitating global technology partnerships, we look forward to forging new Canada-Israel collaborations in the energy sector through the CIEST Fund," said Dr. Henri Rothschild, President of CIIRDF. "We are pleased to be working with our long-standing partner, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to fund academic collaborators on selected projects. These investments will enable the creation of innovative energy technologies and processes that open-up new markets, customer relationships and export opportunities for Canadian and Israeli firms."

"With our abundant unconventional resource base and technical expertise, Canada is well positioned to play an important role in meeting the world’s growing energy requirements," said Dave Collyer, President, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. "Canada-Israel S&T collaboration through this initiative will contribute to accelerating development and application of new technologies that will support responsible resource management and create new market opportunities."

Supporting Canada’s Automotive Sector

January 4, 2012 - Today, Prime Minister Harper announced the renewal of the Automotive Innovation Fund, which builds on our Government’s commitment to keep Canada’s automotive sector innovative and globally competitive.

Entering 2013, the Government of Canada’s top priority continues to be jobs, growth and long-term prosperity.

The automotive sector is a key driver of Canada’s economy and employs hundreds of thousands of Canadians across the country.  

Today, Prime Minister Harper announced the renewal of the Automotive Innovation Fund, which builds on our Government’s commitment to keep Canada’s sector innovative and globally competitive.  

The Automotive Innovation Fund has a proven track record of generating results for Canadians in terms of creating jobs and prosperity, while attracting foreign investment.This investment will bring long-term benefits to Canada by driving made-in-Canada innovation, increasing our ability to compete globally and creating high-quality jobs.  

Our Government will continue to support Canada’s automotive sector by keeping taxes low, eliminating tariffs on machinery and equipment, and creating an environment that promotes innovation, research and development.  


The Automotive Innovation Fund, introduced in Budget 2008, provides support for leading-edge innovation in automotive manufacturing and research and development (R&D) to build advanced, greener products and processes.  To date, investments have leveraged up to $1.6 billion in R&D and innovation investments in Canada’s automotive sector, including promoting enhanced R&D capacity, leading-edge engineering and design, and made-in-Canada innovation.

The renewed Fund will provide $250 million over five years (2013-2018) to automotive companies in support of strategic, large-scale research and development projects.  This investment builds on our Government’s initial investment of $250 million in 2008.

Strengthening Venture Capital Investment

January 14, 2013 -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced the Government's Venture Capital Action Plan to improve access to venture capital financing by high-growth companies so that they have the capital they need to create jobs and growth.

"Our Government understands that Canada's long-term economic competitiveness in the emerging knowledge economy needs to be driven by globally competitive, high-growth businesses that innovate and create high-quality jobs," said Prime Minister Harper. "We will provide the resources needed to put Canada's venture capital industry on the path to sustainability and ensure Canada's high-potential firms have the resources they need to succeed."

Recognizing the importance of the venture capital industry to Canada's future productivity growth, Economic Action Plan 2012 announced resources to support Canada's venture capital industry, including $400 million to help increase private sector investments in early-stage risk capital, and to support the creation of large-scale venture capital funds led by the private sector.

Over the summer, the Government conducted extensive consultations with key stakeholders on how to structure this support and on how to ensure that the support contributes to the creation of a sustainable, private sector-led venture capital sector in Canada.

Based on the results of the consultations, the Government will pursue a comprehensive action plan for deploying the $400 million in new capital over the next seven to ten years. The Government's approach recognizes the need to demonstrate that Canada's innovative firms represent superior return opportunities, and that private sector investment and decision-making is central to long-term success. With this in mind, the Venture Capital Action Plan will make available:

  • $250 million to establish new, large private sector-led national funds of funds (a funds of funds portfolio consists of investments in several venture capital funds) in partnership with institutional and corporate strategic investors, as well as interested provinces;
  • Up to $100 million to recapitalize existing large private sector-led funds of funds, in partnership with willing provinces; and,
  • An aggregate investment of up to $50 million in three to five existing high-performing venture capital funds in Canada.

In addition, the Venture Capital Action Plan will promote a vibrant venture capital environment in Canada rooted in a strong entrepreneurial culture and well-established networks that link investors to innovative companies.

Private sector expertise will be sought in the coming weeks to advise the Government on the selection of the private sector management of the large-scale, national funds of funds, and on the selection of the high-performing venture capital funds to receive capital from the Government.

The Government is currently asking potential investors to signal their interest in co-investing in new or existing funds of funds. Please indicate your interest by February 8, 2013, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . The Government is not accepting proposals for investment in individual firms.

Defibrillators in Hockey Arenas

February 21, 2013 -- The Government of Canada is working with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) to put in place Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and related training in community hockey arenas across the country in order to help save lives.

“Our Government is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians while encouraging active and healthy lifestyles,” said the Prime Minister. “We are proud to work with the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and its partners to provide defibrillators and trained personnel to use them at community arenas across the country.”

This initiative will expand the availability of defibrillators for many Canadians, as recreational arenas are a focal point for many communities throughout the country, particularly in rural regions.

Government of Canada support for this four-year initiative – which is being provided through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Automated External Defibrillators program – will allow the HSFC to coordinate the installation of, and training for, defibrillators. This initiative delivers on a commitment made by the Prime Minister in April 2011. 

Phase one of the initiative, currently underway, will assess the needs of 3,000 community hockey arenas in Canada and will result in an implementation plan. Phase two, beginning in spring 2013, includes providing the necessary training to attendants and will see the rollout and installation of the defibrillators, according to the plan.

According to the HSFC, up to 40,000 Canadians experience a sudden cardiac arrest each year and, on average, only about 5% of them survive. Access to early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation could potentially save the lives of thousands of Canadian children and adults each year. 

Background -- Automated External Defibrillator (AED) project

The Government of Canada is committed to protecting the health and safety of Canadians while encouraging active and healthy lifestyles. 

Delivering on an April 2011 commitment, Prime Minister Harper announced support of $10 million for a four-year initiative (2012-2016) between the Government of Canada and the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) to put in place Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) and related training in hockey arenas across the country in order to help save lives. 

[Defibrillators are electronic devices used to restart a person’s heart that has stopped beating. They are safe, easy to use, and can be operated effectively by the public.] 

According to the HSFC, up to 40,000 Canadians experience a sudden cardiac arrest each year. Early access to cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and defibrillation – preferably within the first one to three minutes after cardiac arrest – may increase the likelihood of survival by 75% or more, potentially saving the lives of thousands of Canadians each year. 

Risk of cardiac arrest is increased during intense physical activity, like playing hockey, and especially in people with underlying cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure. 

Through the Public Health Agency of Canada’s AED program, the Government of Canada will support the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada (HSFC) who will work with its partners to ensure that community hockey arenas across Canada are provided with defibrillators and appropriate attendant training. 

This initiative has two phases, the first of which is currently underway. In Phase 1, the Government of Canada is providing $300,000 to the HSFC to assess the 3,000 community hockey arenas in Canada and to develop an implementation plan that addresses areas of greatest need or greatest impact on community health. Phase 2, expected to begin in spring 2013, will provide $9.7 million to the HSFC for the actual rollout and installation of defibrillators in community hockey rinks across the country. 

This initiative dovetails existing efforts being undertaken across Canada at all levels to expand the network for defibrillators in high traffic public locations. It also builds on the following activities by the Federal Government to combat heart disease: 

  • Conducting national cardiovascular disease surveillance and supporting the development of enhanced reporting systems so that accurate information on heart disease is used in policy and program development. Investments in healthy living, diabetes prevention and tobacco cessation also support efforts by Canadians to prevent cardiovascular disease.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada invests $5.2 million per year in the Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) Program, which tracks rates of CVD and its risk factors in Canada.
  • Research investments by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research support the development of new knowledge in preventing, detecting and treating cardiovascular disease. 
Supporting Victims of Crime

December 30, 2012 - Today, the Harper Government announced that a new federal income support for parents of murdered or missing children will be available as of January 1, 2013.   

The Government of Canada received a strong mandate to keep our streets and communities safe. Our Government is taking action to provide more support for victims of crime and their families. 

Today, Parliamentary Secretary Leitch announced that a new federal income support for parents of murdered or missing children will be available as of January 1, 2013.  This new grant will ease the financial pressure on parents struggling to cope with the death or disappearance of a child.

Only those who have experienced these kinds of traumatic events can truly imagine or understand the suffering of these parents. Our Government is committed to supporting these families.  

Since 2006, our Government has taken serious action to get tough on crime. We will continue to support innocent victims, and help make our streets and communities a safer place to live.  


As of January 1, 2013, the new Federal Income Support for Parents of Murdered or Missing Children grant will provide assistance to eligible parents who suffer a loss of income as they take time away from work to cope with the death or disappearance of a child as a result of a probable Criminal Code offence.

This new grant is expected to support an estimated 1,000 families annually. It will provide $350 per week in income support for up to 35 weeks. To receive this new benefit, affected parents will need to have earned a minimal level of income ($6,500) in the previous calendar year or the previous 52 weeks and take leave from their employment.

In addition, through the Helping Families in Need Act, the Canada Labour Code has been amended to allow for unpaid leave and to protect the jobs of parents whose child dies or disappears as a result of a probable Criminal Code offence. This will allow parents who work in a federally regulated company to take time away from work to focus on what matters the most – their family – while knowing that their job is protected.

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