TORONTO, June 25, 2015 /CNW/ - The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance, today announced, on behalf of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health that Canada and Israel are teaming up on a bold new research effort to improve our understanding of human health and disease. Minister Oliver was joined by His Excellency Rafael Barak, Israel's Ambassador to Canada, Dr. Naomi Azrieli, Chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation, Dr. Jean Lebel, President of Canada's International Development Research Centre, and Dr. Alain Beaudet, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
The joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program is a seven-year, $35 million program that draws on the scientific strengths of Canadian and Israeli researchers in the broad field of biomedicine. The program will fund up to 30 research projects involving researchers from Canada and Israel with an initial focus on the neurosciences.
The research teams will integrate researchers from low- and middle-income countries to further their scientific capacity. As collaborators or trainees, these researchers will contribute to and benefit from their involvement in the program with the overall aim of strengthening research capacity in low- and middle-income countries, promoting research excellence, and building long-lasting international scientific relationships.
The program is a partnership between the Azrieli Foundation, Canada's International Development Research Centre, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Israel Science Foundation.
- The joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program will provide funding for Canadian and Israeli researchers to assemble world-class research teams working in cutting-edge areas of biomedical science, with an initial focus on the neurosciences.
- Some 30 grants worth $1 million each will be awarded over the 7-year program. Each grant will include the participation of established researchers and graduate students from low- and middle-income countries.
- The Government of Canada is the largest single investor in health research in Canada. It is also a global leader in the field of international health research. Through CIHR, the federal government is supporting more than 13,700 health researchers and trainees across Canada. Through Canada's IDRC, it is also investing in science that improves maternal and child health, combats crippling diseases, and builds more resilient health systems.
- The Israel Science Foundation is the primary public funding body supporting and promoting basic research in Israel. The ISF's research grants are awarded on a competitive basis, according to the highest standards of scientific excellence.
"Canada and Israel are renowned for excellence in health research, particularly in the neurosciences. The Canada-Israel Health Research Program harnesses the collective energies of our two great nations to pursue basic biomedical research aimed at improving health outcomes for Canadians, Israelis, and people throughout the world. I am pleased to note that researchers in developing countries will have an opportunity to contribute to these research endeavours as well."
Minister of Finance
"The Israel Science Foundation is extremely excited about this joint program for several reasons. First and foremost, the research achievements of both Israeli and Canadian researchers in different biomedical fields, including brain research, cancer biology, and immunology, are truly outstanding and in many cases, highly complementary. Secondly, we are genuinely excited at the thought of working with IDRC, CIHR, and the Azrieli Foundation, with whom we share the commitment and dedication to promoting scientific excellence. Finally, we look forward to the active and fruitful involvement of researchers and students from developing countries in our joint endeavour."
Professor Benny Geiger
Chair, Academic Board, Israel Science Foundation
"Science is an international and collaborative undertaking. With this initiative to link leading researchers from Canada and Israel, the Azrieli Foundation continues its mission to support scientific excellence and encourage multilayered collaborations. Bringing together outstanding, innovative Canadian and Israeli scientists will complement and diversify the work being done in both countries and strengthen our mutual pursuits. We believe this program will result in cutting-edge research that will make a difference – in Canada, in Israel and globally."
Dr. Naomi Azrieli
Chair and CEO, The Azrieli Foundation
"This program complements IDRC's expertise in global health and our mandate to fund international projects that help train the next generation of developing-country leaders. It also builds on IDRC's strength in international scientific collaboration and partnership. Canada's IDRC welcomes the opportunity to work on the frontiers of biomedical research and, together with our partners, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada's Azrieli Foundation, and the Israel Science Foundation, contribute to discoveries that can transform lives. This is of global benefit."
Dr. Jean Lebel
President, International Development Research Centre
"CIHR is honoured to support the Canada-Israel Health Research Program. Our two countries have a long-standing history of collaboration, and this research program provides an opportunity to build on our mutual areas of expertise. The program takes advantage of Canada's research strengths, starting with the neurosciences where this initiative will help us better understand the basic mechanisms underlying brain organization, function and dysfunction."
Dr. Alain Beaudet
President, Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Canada-Israel Health Research Program
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Canada's International Development Research Centre, and the Azrieli Foundation have partnered with the Israel Science Foundation to establish the Canada-Israel Health Research Program.
The program will provide $35M over seven years to Canadian and Israeli researchers to assemble world-class research teams working in cutting-edge areas of biomedical science.
Each funded project will involve researchers from low and middle income countries to further their scientific capacity. Researchers will contribute to and benefit from their involvement in the program. The overall aim is to promote research excellence in Canada and elsewhere, build long-lasting scientific relationships, and ensure that researchers from low- and middle-income countries also benefit from this new international effort.
The first call for applications was launched in January 2015. It is focused on new frontiers in neuroscience and will award up to six $1 million grants to joint Canadian-Israeli research teams for a non-renewable period of up to 3 years.
Subsequent calls may include areas of common interest focusing on other organs and diseases, and various topics in health sciences, such as cancer biology, immunology, stem cell research and molecular medicine.
SOURCE Canadian Institutes of Health Research
For further information: Michael Bolkenius, Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Health, 613-957-0200; Jocelyn Sweet, International Development Research Centre, 613-696-2343, [email protected]; David Coulombe, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, 613-941-4563, [email protected]; Dena Libman, The Azrieli Foundation, 416-322-5928, [email protected]