Grand Challenges Canada signs Programme of Cooperation with Government of India

Strengthening relationship with India's Department of Biotechnology will address health and development challenges through innovation

TORONTO, Canada, and NEW DELHI, India, Feb. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Grand Challenges Canada and the Government of India signed a Programme of Cooperation (POC) in research and innovation today, formalizing Grand Challenges Canada's existing relationship with India's Department of Biotechnology.

The Government of India, through its Department of Biotechnology, is committed to taking an active role in addressing the health and nutritional security needs of its population. This new Programme of Cooperation will help to serve this goal and to alleviate some of the world's most critical global health and development issues.

Grand Challenges Canada and the Department of Biotechnology will jointly promote the development of long-term cooperation in the fields of global health, early child development, women and children's health, and mental health between Canada and India. To date, Grand Challenges Canada, which is funded by the Government of Canada, has funded 64 innovations in India, for a total investment of $13.8 million CAD. This POC agreement will help bring these seed investments to scale and will promote their use for health in the developing world.

The newly announced POC was officially signed on February 24, 2014, during a State visit to India by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, from February 22 to March 2, 2014.

The POC will operate under the umbrella of the existing Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation between Canada and India, aimed at fostering greater science and technology collaboration. "Canada and India have a vibrant relationship in science, technology and innovation, which can foster both friendship and trade between our two nations," says Stewart Beck, Canadian High Commissioner to India.

"Indian and Canadian innovators are a wellspring of bold ideas with big impact that can save and improve lives around the world," says Dr. Peter A. Singer, Chief Executive Officer of Grand Challenges Canada. "We are honoured to work with our Indian colleagues to turn up the tap on this flow of innovation."

"This agreement will herald a new era of cooperation in innovation and global health between Canada and India," says Dr. K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India. "Collaborating with Grand Challenges Canada will help to scale innovative solutions that save and improve lives."

The Programme will also strengthen and intensify the collaboration with Grand Challenges India. This initiative was developed earlier between the Department of Biotechnology and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to foster Indian innovation, as well as global cooperation to address health and development challenges.

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About Grand Challenges Canada
Grand Challenges Canada is dedicated to supporting Bold Ideas with Big Impact™ in global health. We are funded by the Government of Canada through the Development Innovation Fund announced in the 2008 Federal Budget. We fund innovators in low- and middle-income countries and Canada. Grand Challenges Canada works with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and other global health foundations and organizations to find sustainable, long-term solutions through Integrated Innovation − bold ideas that integrate science, technology, social and business innovation. Grand Challenges Canada is hosted at the Sandra Rotman Centre.

SOURCE: Grand Challenges Canada

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