The Israeli Office of the Chief Scientist in the Ministry of Economy and the Province of Nova Scotia, through the Israeli Industry Center for R&D (MATIMOP) and the Canada-Israel Industrial Research Development Foundation (CIIRDF), and the Embassy of Israel in Canada, today announced a new program that will facilitate R&D partnerships between entrepreneurs and firms in Nova Scotia and Israel, and build stronger innovation and economic bridges between the province and Israel, the Start-up Nation.

The Nova Scotia-Israel Innovation Program (NSIIP) will enhance R&D partnerships between the two jurisdictions, and promote the joint creation and commercialization of high potential technologies.

NSIIP will facilitate R&D partnerships among Nova Scotia and Israeli start-ups where such collaboration could accelerate growth towards full-scale operations and commercial success. It will enable entrepreneurs to combine their technological and business capabilities, and address key challenges during the precarious start-up phase of development. This reduces the risk of new ventures, while developing new channels to global markets.

Building on initial discussions hosted by His Excellency, Rafael Barak, Ambassador of Israel to Canada, and the Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia, in November 2014, the program will harness the complementary R&D expertise, experience and resources of both regions. 

The NSIIP will leverage investment from the Office of the Chief Scientist, Ministry of Economy in Israel, and the Province of Nova Scotia through Innovacorp. 

“Beginning with David Ben Gurion, Israel's first Prime Minister who trained as a young soldier at Fort Edward during World War I, the State of Israel and the Province of Nova Scotia have over a century of close ties,” said His Excellency, Rafael Barak, Israel’s Ambassador to Canada. “We have recently strengthened these ties with several collaborative projects between Dalhousie University and Ben Gurion University. Today's announcement takes our bilateral relationship to the next level with a partnership in innovation that will open up new economic opportunities and foster even closer people-to-people connections.” 

“We’re pleased to create a more formal collaboration between the vibrant technology start-up communities in Nova Scotia and Israel,” said the Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia. “This partnership will allow early stage Nova Scotia companies to accelerate their growth through improved access to technology, global markets, business expertise, and investment.”

“CIIRDF was founded on a powerful vision: science and technology partnerships are major engines of economic growth, and deliver significant return on investment to all collaborators,” said Dr. Henri Rothschild, President of CIIRDF. “The Nova Scotia-Israel Innovation Program will deliver on this value proposition, and enrich companies in both jurisdictions. With a sharp focus on regional economic objectives, it will stimulate the development of novel products; open-up new global markets for collaborating firms, and ultimately, increase the global competitiveness of Nova Scotia and Israel.”

To kick start the program, MATIMOP and CIIRDF will work closely with companies across Nova Scotia, including firms in Innovacorp’s portfolio, to identify key technological and business needs in Nova Scotia that could be addressed by Israeli companies and start-ups. Parties will jointly facilitate matchmaking and broker new collaborations; conduct bilateral Calls for R&D Proposals; and, where possible, co-fund selected R&D projects by the OCS in Israel and Innovacorp in Nova Scotia. These initiatives will provide Nova Scotia and Israeli firms with a greater understanding of the technological strengths of each jurisdiction, business synergies, and long-term opportunities for R&D collaboration. 

About the Canada-Israel Industrial Foundation (CIIRDF)
The Canada-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF) stimulates and invests in collaborative research and development between private sector companies in Canada and Israel, with a focus on the commercialization of new technologies.  Established in 1994 under a formal treaty from the Governments of Canada and Israel, CIIRDF is connected institutionally with the Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel's Ministry of the Economy. Leveraging a unique bilateral governance structure, and recognized as one of the most successful partnership models of its kind, CIIRDF has financed more than 90 technology partnerships that enabled the joint development and sale of more than 50 products. This has generated hundreds of millions of dollars in economic value for Canadian and Israeli companies over the past decade. The foundation promotes the benefits of Canada-Israel R&D collaboration; offers a match-making service to companies; and provides early-stage investment for Canada-Israel R&D that leverages the complementary capabilities, expertise and resources of each partner. For additional information, please visitWWW.CIIRDF.CA.

About Innovacorp
Based in Halifax, Innovacorp is Nova Scotia’s early stage venture capital organization. Its mission is to find, fund and foster innovative Nova Scotia start-ups that strive to change the world. Early stage investment is at the core of Innovacorp’s business model, but the organization also gives entrepreneurs access to world-class incubation facilities, an international network of expert advisors, and other activities that help create and accelerate start-ups. Target industries include information technology, clean technology, life sciences, and oceans technology. Connect with Innovacorp at WWW.INNOVACORP.CA, on TWITTER or FACEBOOK.

About the Office of the Chief Scientist, Israel
The Office of the Chief Scientist [OCS] in the Ministry of Economy is charged with execution of government policy for support of industrial R&D. The goal of the OCS is to assist in the development of technology in Israel as a means of fostering economic growth, encouraging technological innovation and entrepreneurship, leveraging Israel’s scientific potential, enhancing the knowledge base of industry in Israel, stimulating high value-added R&D and encouraging R&D collaboration both nationally and internationally. A variety of ongoing support programs developed and offered by the OCS through MATIMOP (the Israeli Industrial Center for R&D) play a major role in enabling Israel to be a key center for high tech entrepreneurship. For additional information, please visit the OCS WEBSITE.

About The Embassy of Israel in Canada
Celebrating 65 years of diplomatic ties, the Canada-Israel relationship is rooted in shared democratic values and common interests. The warm relations and close people-to-people connections provide fertile ground for the Embassy to promote greater partnerships, economic growth and friendship between the State of Israel and Canada.  Based in Canada’s national capital, Ottawa, you can follow us on TWITTER and FACEBOOK or connect with us atHTTP://OTTAWA.MFA.GOV.IL/.

For more information, contact:

Sonya Shorey
Senior Communications Strategist
M 613.851.9416

Howard Fremeth
Director of Communications
Embassy of Israel in Canada
M 613.324.0400

Dawn House
Client Engagement & Communications
M 902.456.9705

Tel Aviv, Israel; Ottawa, Ontario; Halifax, Nova Scotia, February 2, 2015