Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

ERA-Can Plus Report Summary

Project ID: 609507
Funded under: FP7-INCO
Country: Italy

Final Report Summary - ERA-CAN PLUS (European Research Area - Canada for Science, Technology and Innovation Partnership)

Executive Summary:
The main objective of ERA-Can + was to foster EU-Canada cooperation in Research, Innovation and Development by improving programme management, facilitating access for researchers and innovators on both sides of the Atlantic and encourage new funding opportunities for joint Canada-EU projects in science, technology and innovation.
As a basis for the monitoring of progress in bilateral STI cooperation two editions of a comprehensive STI Observatory have been published featuring an analysis of the STI policies and systems, an overview of the existing bilateral agreements and an analysis of the Canadian participation in H2020 and of the framework conditions and programmes and the European participation in the Canadian programmes.
Advancement in the EU-Canada policy dialogue has been guaranteed by the organisation of three Programme Level Cooperation meeting - which focussed on funding mechanisms (in general and in specific areas), engaging businesses, and Joint Technology Initiatives; the opportunities for Canada in joining existing Public-public Partnerships (P2P) and Public- Private partnerships (PPs); and the EU-Canada Arctic dimension in view of the Arctic calls under the 2016-2017 H2020 Blue Growth Work Programme -, by the organisation of six interdisciplinary roundtables on: Arctic Health and Wellness; Marine and ICT; Nano for Food; Aeronautics; Marshaling Incubators to Build Global Companies; Big Data and Health, two Symposia on Marine and Arctic Research Infrastructures; and Innovation, and through the organisation of a Canada-EU Natural Resources/Bioeconomy Science Collaborative Roundtable which included the participation of Canadian Senior Management (some at the Assistant Deputy Minister level) and EC officials.
These events helped in identifying further steps in existing sectors of cooperation and served to identify new possible future thematics such as Security (First Responders) and Climate Change. Moreover, recommendations for future actions were delivered to the 6th and 7th Canada-EU Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC).
In the frame of the "ERC - Open to the World" strategy, ERACAN+ activities led also to the signature of the implementing arrangement between ERC and Canada. The agreement signed encourages Canadian researchers to undertake research visits in Europe, temporarily becoming part of an ERC-funded team in Europe.
A variegated range of activities, such as trainings, information sessions, working visits, an online Help Desk, webinars for Canadians and Europeans and networking activities, also sought another valuable contribution to trans-national cooperation in the research and innovation landscape. A specific objective was the launch of an ERA-Can+ project twinning call where six projects were selected, guaranteeing the increase of synergies between European and Canadian researchers.
Activities aimed at supporting Canadian federal/regional research stakeholders in identifying and cross-linking partners from Canada and EU Member States as well as Associated Countries in view of building trans-national consortia for EU research and innovation projects under Horizon 2020 were also carried out. From this perspective, the major highlight was the growth of the Canada-EU National Contact Point (NCP) network by identifying an NCP for Aeronautics under the Smart, Green and Integrated Transport Sector, as well as for researcher mobility under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, Forestry, Digital Infrastructures, Arctic and Security. In addition, 21 Regional Contact Points (RCPs) from the provinces and territories in 5 sectors have been added to the network to assist NCPs in regional outreach and have been trained remotely and during a road show in 3 provinces (WP2). http://www.era-can.net/canada/ncps/. This is a sustainable network that will continue to foster Canada-EU collaborations.
A series of dissemination activities were put into place. One major highlight has been the production of a moving infographics ( https://goo.gl/rI8kps ). Periodic newsletters were distributed among ERA-Can+ stakeholders and a wide use of social media assured the coverage of the main ERA-Can+ events and releases. A set of success stories to promote the existing collaboration have been featured in the form of articles and interviews on the ERA-Can+ website (http://www.era-can.net/collaborations/). Three specific guides have also been released: a guide for Europeans to Canadian Science, Technology & Innovation Programs, a guide to Horizon 2020 for Canadian Researchers, and a guide for Canadians on Multilateral Cooperation with Europe to promote further opportunities and understanding for collaboration (https://goo.gl/g4c1DT ).
The project met and exceeded the expected results and the statistics reflect a growth in the Canadian participation in H2020 where Canada is now 4th among the third countries for number of participants in approved projects, with a success rate of 21.6%, compared to overall third country success rate of 18%.
ERACAN+ consortium was made of 7 partners, 4 Europeans (APRE, CNRS, DLR and ZSI) and 3 Canadians (Global Affairs Canada, PPF and Universities Canada).

Project Context and Objectives:
The main objective of ERA-Can + was – in accordance with the general project objective – to foster EU-Canada cooperation in Research, Innovation and Development by improving programme management, facilitating access for researchers and innovators on both sides of the Atlantic and encourage new funding opportunities for joint Canada-EU projects in science, technology and innovation.
The first explicit aim was to support the Canada-EU policy dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) by:
• Identifying areas of mutual interest and programmes/funding opportunities.
• Contributing analyses of participation and identification of opportunities for cooperation and coordination in STI programmes as well as recommendations for the JSTCC meeting.
• Implementing the requests made during the JSTCC meeting of 2014.

More specifically, the objective was to produce two versions of a comprehensive report on Canada-EU STI policies and programmes, focusing on both Canadian participation in FP7/Horizon 2020 and European participation in Canadian funding programmes, to advance program level cooperation between programme owners in Canada and Europe to improve programme management, facilitate access for researchers and innovators on both sides of the Atlantic, and encourage new funding opportunities for joint Canada-EU projects in STI by organising Programme level cooperation meetings, and to deliver to JSTCC a first set of recommendations for future actions.
The second explicit aim was to raise awareness of opportunities for international cooperation in European programmes, in particular Horizon 2020, Canadian programmes, and multilateral programmes, and to engage researchers and innovators focused on major societal challenges through networking activities in Europe and in Canada.
In the process of addressing the second aim, the partners organised train the trainers sessions on existing funding programmes and other opportunities for cooperation, maintained a helpdesk, supported the participation of Canadians to H2020 brokerage events, organised a series of webinars, information sessions, roundtables, and working visits, and developed and implemented a pilot call for twinning between FP7/H2020 projects and Canadian projects in priority areas.
The third explicit aim was to support the STI coordination. On the Canadian side, this was done through the new Canadian NCPs (coordination and identification of best practices among Canadian NCPs, development of a network of Regional Contact Points, strengthening of their ties with European NCPs and networks, and engaging them in ERA-Can+ policy dialogue, cooperation and coordination activities). Wherever possible, new Canadian-European Coordination and Support Actions (in the selected societal challenges) were identified and promoted, with emphasis placed on best practices among existing projects, and to strengthen Canada-EU networks in STI by encouraging focused discussion among organizations, on common issues, best practices, and specific measures to improve international cooperation. In achieving this aim, partners organised a series of priority setting workshops, two symposia: one on Innovation and one on Marine and Arctic Research Infrastructures. The partners also studied the possibility of bringing together representatives of European research organizations for the establishment of a “Joint EU Member State Liaison Office for STI”.
Throughout the duration of the project, the consortium aimed to raise awareness about the many ERA-Can+ activities, policies and programmes, calls for proposals; networking and partnership building services; information on funded research, conferences and workshops; guidance for potential and actual participants in STI programmes, opportunities for researchers, research and innovation managers and programme owners in both Canada and Europe; and at facilitating contact and knowledge transfer across STI sectors. These activities were completed with targeted communications in a number of common platforms.

Project Results:
The main objective of ERA-Can + was – in accordance with the general project objective – to foster EU-Canada cooperation in Research, Innovation and Development by improving programme management, facilitating access for researchers and innovators on both sides of the Atlantic and encourage new funding opportunities for joint Canada-EU projects in science, technology and innovation.
The first explicit aim was to support the Canada-EU policy dialogue on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) by:
• Identifying areas of mutual interest and programmes/funding opportunities.
• Contributing analyses of participation and identification of opportunities for cooperation and coordination in STI programmes as well as recommendations for the JSTCC meeting.
• Implementing the requests made during the JSTCC meeting of 2014.

To reach this first explicit aim, a series of activities were implemented.

1- Science, Technology and Innovation Observatory
Two comprehensive reports to provide Canadian and European researchers, innovators, policy makers and programme managers with an overview of the current state of cooperation between Canada and the European Union in science technology and innovation (ST&I) were produced during the project lifetime. The first report was posted on the ERA-Can+ website in September 2015 and an updated report was posted in September 2016.

More specifically, the reports aimed to provide:
• an overview of the ST&I policies and systems in Canada and the EU;
• information on current ST&I agreements between Canada and the EU and its Member States;
• data on Canadians’ participation in the 7th Framework Programme, in Horizon 2020, and other multilateral initiatives and data on Europeans’ participation in Canadian funding programmes;
• information on the current framework conditions that affect the development of innovative products and services in Canada and the EU, as well as examples of innovation programmes; and
• an assessment of the challenges and opportunities for advancing Canada-EU ST&I cooperation.
Fairly extensive updates were brought to the second report both in terms of the data presented and the report format (with greater reliance on tables, graphs and bullet points). The September 2016 report first provides an update on the latest Canadian and European policy initiatives to support ST&I. The next section does not identify any new Canada-EU agreements for ST& cooperation but does present updated information pertaining to Canada-EU member country agreements and subnational agreements. It also provides completely new information regarding Canada-EU university collaborations. In terms of the funding programmes, the report provides the latest data on Canadian participation in Horizon 2020 and data on European participation rates in Canadian funding programmes for 2014-2016. The Canadian and European innovation sections are also updated to reflect the latest contexts and data. And finally the September 2016 report outlines new recommendations to advance Canada-EU ST&I cooperation based on an analysis of the report’s findings. The executive summary of the September 2016 ST&I Observatory report summarizes each section of the report and is available in English and French.
2- Programme Level Cooperation
This activity aimed at advancing Programme Level Cooperation between programme owners/funders in Canada and Europe, to improve programme management, provide an understanding of the EC’s multilateral project structure and opportunities and facilitate access for researchers and innovators on both sides of the Atlantic and encourage new funding opportunities for joint Canada-EU projects in science, technology and innovation. The process involved programme owners from Canada and the EU and targeted strategic bilateral S&T priorities as identified by project activities. DLR and DFAIT organized three meetings throughout the life-span of ERA-Can+. The meetings brought together more than twenty funders and interested organizations from the European and Canadian side. For the first time in ERA-Can+ history, federal and provincial funders came together to discuss programme level cooperation together with the European Commission and EU member state organisations.

- First ERA-Can+ Programme Level Cooperation Meeting:
The first ERA-Can+ Programme Level Cooperation Meeting took place on June 13, 2014 at the APRE Office in Brussels, Belgium. Representatives from the Canadian federal and provincial funding organisations met with representatives from the European Commission. Purpose for the meeting was to elaborate on opportunities to work together on the programme level. The three Canadian federal granting councils have already been engaged in collaborative activities with the European Union. For the first time representatives from some of the Provinces came together with a representative of the three federal granting councils to discuss further possibilities with the EU, such as joint or coordinated calls or matching funds.

The discussion evolved around three main topics:
• Funding Mechanisms (in general and in specific areas);
• Engaging Businesses, and
• Joint Technology Initiatives.
The main results and recommendations achieved through the discussions are structured around the three main topics:
a. Funding Mechanisms (in general and in specific areas)
- While cooperation funding is currently available a priori from all of the federal granting councils, SSHRC is developing a “virtual pot” model through the T-AP, which could be used to fund matching.
- One of the next steps should be to define the areas where transatlantic cooperation is feasible and to establish a platform or network in that field, such as the Transatlantic Platform for Social Sciences and Humanities.
- Not only the federal but also the provincial funding organisations and other funders shall be engaged in any future trial for matching funds.
- It is crucial that Canadian researchers be informed that they need to seek funding in Canada first, use either their own operating budget or if already received funds from a granting council, these funds can be used for international partnerships, before they enter for a proposal in H2020.
- Engage the Networks of the Centers of Excellence (NCE) to look where funds could be made available for researchers that want to participate in H2020.
- Having Canadian ministers responsible for various funding programs recognize the need and be able to identify funding to be directed towards H2020 partnerships, would be a major milestone for Canada.
- For cooperation in specific fields it is necessary to get all players in this ecosystem involved, researchers, SMEs until right to the end user.
- Best practice examples and testimonials are really needed to show interested researchers that are not yet familiar with European collaboration, presenting the benefits as well as the challenges participants had.
b. Engaging Businesses
- For companies it is important to communicate the benefits and positive testimonials as to why they should engage in international cooperation.
- So far NRC and IRAP focused only on EUREKA, and it could be a challenge to engage them on the European Enterprise Network or even H2020. But they have set a priority on Europe, so it is a potential source of funding.
c. Joint Technology Initiatives
- Other fund matching possibilities in Europe such as JPIs or JTIs shall be promoted to Canadians. As a first step this could be part of the next train the trainers (NCPs) sessions.

- Second ERA-Can+ Programme Level Cooperation Meeting:
After the elaboration of a policy brief on the opportunities for Canada in joining existing Public-public Partnerships (P2P) and Public- Private partnerships (PPs) a specific programme level cooperation meeting has been designed with JP representatives.

The meeting of Canadian programme funders with the Energy Research Alliance (EERA), JPI Oceans and Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) was held November 18, 2014 in Ottawa.

The participating organizations were chosen as there were already discussions which had occurred and interest had been expressed by Canadian organizations to pursue participation in these programmes. The discussion evolved especially around the tools and mechanisms of H2020, and what opportunities there are for Canadians. The second point of discussion was to learn what synergies and linkages could lie between Canadian programme owners.

During the meeting, it became apparent that JPI Oceans is of interest to some of the Canadian marine experts, especially MEOPAR. Prompt from Québec joined the AAL JP (the first Canadian organization approved by the AAL General Assembly) to fund Quebec organizations in upcoming calls. CIHR has been engaged in discussions to become a full member of AAL as well. The University of Waterloo is engaged in discussions with EERA and did attend the EERA annual meeting in April in Brussels. DLR and DFATD are following up on further discussions.

- Third ERA-Can+ Programme Level Cooperation Meeting
The Canada – EU Arctic Dimension Programme Level Cooperation Meeting was organized by DFAIT and DLR in Ottawa on October 29, 2015.

The meeting stressed the Horizon 2020 Blue Growth Calls that target Canadians as cooperation partners. It aimed to improve programme management, facilitate access for researchers and innovators on both sides of the Atlantic working within the arctic objectives, and encourage new funding opportunities for joint Canada-EU projects under Horizon 2020. The Arctic Calls under the 2016-17 H2020 Blue Growth Work Programme (WP) strategically align with the Canada-EU Arctic Statement of Purpose and were presented in detail by the European Commission to align and define funding procedures for Canadian researchers in these calls. ERA-Can+ partners also worked closely with Polar Knowledge Canada, who are the Arctic NCP and wished to assist Canadians in this process. To prepare for the meeting, participants were asked to review the three Arctic topics which are part of the H2020 Work Programme 2016/17 and determine linkages/synergies with their organizational strategies, in order to determine level of possible funding. Participants were asked to come to the meeting prepared to provide short overviews of the programmes they consider most suitable for programme level cooperation (addressing such elements as programme objectives, eligibility requirements, application procedures, opportunities for programme level cooperation).
During the meeting it became apparent that there is a lot of interest among Canadian organisations to participate in the Horizon 2020 Blue Growth Calls that target collaboration with Canada. Polar Knowledge Canada stepped up to coordinate the interests for the BG calls and to assist in mobilising the Canadian community in order to have an effective Canadian voice in the proposals and to show how funds can be in-kind contributions and leveraged to be an integral project component. The EC also advised the Canadian participants of the ongoing call for experts to assist in evaluating projects.

3- STI Policy Recommendations
During the ERA-Can+ life-span two STI Policy Recommendations were delivered by presentation to the Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC) during its meetings.
- The first meeting took place on 19th November 2014 in Ottawa.
The recommendations were based on the following sources:
• NCP Network
• Programme Level Cooperation Meetings, Brussels, June 13, 2014 and Ottawa, November 18, 2014
• Advisory Board Meeting, Rome, June 10, 2014 and follow ups
• Nanotechnology Priority Setting Workshop, Brussels, June 13, 2014
• ERA-Can II Symposium on Arctic and Marine Research Infrastructure, Rome, September 19-20, 2013

The recommendations presented during the meeting were:

- Expansion of Canadian NCP Network:
• Having one single NCP contact for each thematic is not considered sufficient.
• DFATD as NCP Coordinator, with support by ERA-Can+, did develop a framework to explore expansion of the network by spring 2015.
• A larger NCP network will enable information to be disseminated on a larger and deeper scale, leading to increased Canada-EU collaboration.

- Programme Level Cooperation:
• Not only the federal but also the provincial funding organisations and other funders shall be engaged in any future activities for matching funds, i.e. provinces, networks of centres of excellence, regional development agencies, etc.
• While cooperation funding is currently available a priori from all of the federal granting councils, SSHRC is developing a “virtual pot” model through the T-AP (Trans-Atlantic Platform for Social Sciences and Humanities), which could be used to match funds with the EC
• Additional funding opportunities: Exploration with other Canadian funders, not just federal granting councils, may present further possibilities for increased joint funding partnerships i.e. JPs, JTIs, JPIs, ERA-Nets.
• In addition, Canadian funding opportunities need to be presented to Europeans to create strong bilateral cooperation.
• Define the areas where transatlantic cooperation is feasible: establish a platform or network in that field.
• Get all players in this ecosystem involved (researchers, SMEs until end-user).
• Further engagement with Enterprise Canada Network (ECN) and Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) is recommended.

- Thematic Priorities:
It has been determined that the current thematic areas are appropriate and concentration over the next year should focus on interdisciplinary or cross-cutting activities between some of these thematic areas, i.e.:
• Big Data and Health (CIHR, Genome Canada)
• Environment and Health with Arctic and Marine (CIHR)
• Big Data and SSH (SSHRC)
• ICT and Marine
• Aeronautics and Ocean
• ICT and Health

The EC and the Canadian government gave a very positive feedback on the ERA-Can+ activities and called it as one of the best BILAT-projects. They acknowledged the role ERA-Can+ has played in fostering EU-Canada cooperation. The JSTCC approved the recommendations given by ERA-Can+.

- The second Canada-EU Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC) took place on 14th June 2016 in Brussels.
The recommendations were based on the following sources:
• ERA-Can+-Advisory Board
• National Contact Points and Regional Contact Points Network
• Program level cooperation (PLC)
• PLC-Meeting, Brussels, 13th, 2014
• PLC-Meeting in Ottawa, November 2014
• Arctic PLC-meeting in Ottawa, October 2015
• Info sessions
• Webinars
• Roundtables
• Arctic, Health and Well-being (CNRS) July 2015
• Marine and ICT (ZSI) October 2016
• Nano for Food (UC) February 2016
• Aeronautics (UC) April 2016
• Incubators/accelerators (PPF) May 2016
• Big Data and Health (CNRS) May 2016
• Working Visits
• Austria and Eastern Europe (ZSI) July 2015
• Ireland (APRE) May 2016
• Priority Setting Workshops
• Nanotechnology (CNRS) June 2014
• Arctic (DLR) January 2015
• Big Data (UC) October 2015
• Smart Grids and Energy Storage Systems (UC) April 2016
• Targeted Symposia on Research Infrastructure and Innovation
• Innovation Symposium (PPF) June 2015
• Marine and Arctic Research Infrastructure Symposium (APRE) September 2015
The recommendations can be summed up as follows:
- Canadian NCP and RCP Network:
Approval was granted at the November 2014 JSTCC-meeting to expand the NCP network by seeking Regional Contact Points from the provinces and territories. DFAIT and APRE developed a concept for the growth of NCP network and the establishment of the Regional Contact Points. (currently there are 11 Sectors with 14 NCPs and 6 sectors which have a total of 21 RCPs in Québec, Alberta, the Atlantic Provinces, Yukon and British Columbia, Ontario (to note some changes in the RCP network have since occurred but it is still a viable extension to the NCP network and will continue to expand). It was recommended to hold and support the established NCP and RCP network and to create corresponding thematic NCPs/RCPs if new priority areas are identified. Please see a full list of NCPs and RCPs under Task 4.1 (status September 2016). Due to increased promotion of the value of the NCP network – Forestry and Digital Infrastructure NCPs were also added, even though these are not “confirmed priority sectors by the JSTCC” but areas of interest for Canada-EU collaboration.
- Thematic Priorities:
It has been determined that the current thematic priority areas are appropriate: aeronautics, space, agrifood and food security, Arctic, marine, health, ICT. As a result from the organization of thematic workshops, ERA-Can+ suggested two new possible topics for collaboration: Energy, especially smartgrids and energy storage, and Nanotechnologies for Food. In the field of Innovation, ERA-Can+ organized the very successful Innovation Symposium, which led to the organization of a round table on incubation and acceleration. A seed for future collaboration between EU and Canadian Incubators has been planted and a list of possible activities have been identified.

Security was added at the June 2016 JSTCC as a priority thematic and the EC and Canada are already in discussions for next steps. The current focus in security will be related to First Responders. A security NCP was also added immediately.

Roundtables in interdisciplinary and cross-cutting themes delivered some good results for further steps. Please see the deliverable D2.3 for detailed recommendations on:
• Big Data and Health (CIHR, Genome Canada)
• Environment and Health with Arctic and Marine (CIHR)
• Big Data and SSH (SSHRC)
• ICT and Marine
• Aeronautics and Ocean
• ICT and Health

The project’s second explicit aim was to raise awareness of opportunities for international cooperation in European programmes, in particular Horizon 2020, Canadian programmes, and multilateral programmes, and to engage researchers and innovators focused on major societal challenges through networking activities in Europe and in Canada.

To reach this second explicit aim, a series of activities were implemented.

1- TRAIN THE TRAINERS

To raise awareness of opportunities for international cooperation in European programmes, in particular Horizon 2020, and Canadian programmes, training sessions on existing funding programmes and other opportunities for cooperation were identified and organized through the exchange of information between European and Canadian partners. Training sessions were organised in conjunction with project meetings. Canadian and European National Contact Points (NCPs) as well as EEN members were invited to attend. Five sessions were held in Canada: one in January 2014, and another in March 2015, which included regional contact points (RCPs). The January session gave an update on Horizon 2020 and allowed all participants to ask questions and gain a better knowledge of the difference between the Framework Programme and Horizon 2020. The March session was an introduction of the newly established Regional Contact Points to the National Contact Points and an exchange on roles and responsibilities. New training sessions were delivered by DFATD and APRE in Ottawa (July 4, 2016), Montreal (July 5, 2016) and Edmonton (July 6, 2016), focusing on the National Contact Points regional outreach and Regional Contact Points, reaching approximately 23 NCPs and Regional Contact Points (RCPs) in these regions.

2- AWARENESS RAISING THROUGH INFORMATION SESSIONS

In-person information sessions were held in Canada and in Europe, targeting universities, research organisations, government and SME/businesses.
In Canada, these sessions consisted of a presentation of the ERA-Can+ project, an overview of H2020 (including statistics and examples of Canadian participation and its benefits) and information on programmes and specific opportunities in the STI field. In Europe, the information sessions consisted of a presentation of the ERA-Can+ project, an overview of Canadian programs (including information and/or examples of European participation and its benefits) and a description of other specific funding opportunities.
Universities Canada and PPF organised five sessions for each year of the project, for a combined 30 information sessions (15 per partner). A total of 19 information sessions were held in Europe. At least one information session was organised in the countries which collaborate the most with Canada beyond the ERA-Can+ partner countries (the UK, the Netherlands, Sweden and Belgium)

3- ONLINE HELPDESK
A dedicated online helpdesk aimed at providing support and assistance to Canadian and European stakeholders on European and Canadian programmes and opportunities for cooperation. It was the main channel for providing support and assistance to Canadian and European stakeholders on programmes and opportunities for cooperation. More than 700 inquirers addressed their info requests to the ERA-Can + Helpdesk. The inquiries addressed to helpdesk@era-can.net were processed directly by the consortium members or signposted to the relevant Canadian Horizon 2020’s National Contact Points. Additionally, in order to facilitate the acquisition of information by Canadian users, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page on Horizon 2020 was created and uploaded on the project website: http://www.era-can.net/eu/frequently-asked-questions/

4- WEBINARS FOR CANADIANS AND EUROPEANS

Webinars targeting research administrators and managers, experienced researchers in universities, government and SME/business sectors were held for European and Canadian audiences.
On the Canadian side, Canadian programme owners were invited to deliver webinars on the legal and financial issues of participation in their programmes geared to a European audience. Each webinar consisted of presentations by project partners and by invited speakers, followed by a round of written or oral questions from online participants and answers by the speakers (real-time). The webinars covered topics such as granting council funding programmes, Mitacs, and the Entreprise Europe Network. Feedback was also collected from webinar participants. For the Canadian audience, webinars covered H2020, intellectual property rights, legal and financial issues and other themes of reciprocal interest for a Canadian audience. Each webinar consisted of presentations by project partners and by invited speakers, followed by a round of written or oral questions from online participants and answers by the speakers (real-time). Feedback was also collected from webinar participants.

5- NETWORKING IN SOCIETAL CHALLENGES

Networking in Societal Challenges, consisted of four activities: roundtables, working visits, brokerage events and project twinning.
- Roundtables
In accordance with a request made by the Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee in November 2014, each roundtable focused on a different research/innovation area of the selected societal challenge. The aim of each roundtable was to discuss challenges and opportunities in areas of mutual interest and identify particular topics for targeted opportunities in H2020 and Canadian programmes. Roundtables brought together about ten European and ten Canadian researchers/innovation managers.
Six roundtables were organized
a- Arctic Health and Wellness Roundtable – July 6, 2015, Paris
A roundtable on “Arctic, Health and Wellness” took place on the 6th of July 2015 in Paris, back to back to the UNESCO Conference “Our common future under climate change” and was labelled side event of this pre-COP 21 international scientific symposium.
The roundtable aimed to enable the EU and Canadian research communities to determine new areas of collaboration, as well as to outline potential joint endeavours to address the targeted challenges listed below. It also aimed to provide input for EU-Canada S&T policy Dialogue and allow the parties to align priorities and identify opportunities, instruments and funding modalities that could be mobilised by the different stakeholders.
The targeted challenges were the following:
• Impact of climate change on Health
• Environmental contaminants
• Mental Wellness/ Suicide Prevention
This roundtable brought together close to 30 people including 14 European and 8 Canadian experts to discuss the potential for cooperation between the EU and Canada on the targeted challenges mentioned above.
At the end of the day, participants identified the following challenges:
• There is a need for moving beyond current strategies for funding grants, and enter into a new and innovative approach to funding multi-country, multi-disciplinary teams in the field of arctic health and wellness research.
• An Arctic chair for Mental Wellness and Suicide Prevention should be created in order to provide the leadership to foster a coordinated and collaborative evaluation approach.
• The health impacts of exposure to multiple contaminants is an ongoing concern, however, multiple contaminant approaches pose great methodological and statistical challenges. Successful and innovative approaches should be further shared between the EU and Canada to optimize outreach and regional/national comparisons.
• The EU and Canada should work on developing new environmental matrices for inclusion in long-term monitoring efforts across the Arctic, including surface seawater, given the rise in ‘water-transported’ contaminants in the Arctic, as well as the exploitation of snow and ice cores.
b- Marine and ICT Roundtable – October 19, 2015, Lisbon
A roundtable on marine and ICT took place on October 19th, 2015 in Lisbon, Portugal. The objective of the roundtable was to bring together researchers and innovators from the marine and ICT sectors to discuss challenges and opportunities in these sectors and identify particular topics for partnership opportunities in the H2020 work programmes and relevant Canadian opportunities.
The roundtable brought together 25 European and Canadian experts, as well as observers from the Canadian Embassy to Portugal and ERA-Can+. The roundtable was held in conjunction with the ICT 2015 event, organized by the European Commission, and was able to attract more participants already interested in traveling to Lisbon as the Canadian ICT NCP organized a delegation to the event.
The discussion focused on the following challenges:
• Sensors for better measurement, prediction and forecasting (ocean state, living and non-living resources, natural disasters), including the Internet of Things and data integration; and,
• Advanced robotics and drones, including under-water vehicles and smart buoys/moorings.
The main recommendations from the experts were:
• Conduct a map of research gaps to produce a “research wish list” that can be realized by piggybacking on other research efforts and ensure collaborative funding.
• Create shared platforms to facilitate data sharing and increase awareness of cooperation opportunities.
The participants identified a number of challenges which are as follows:
• There was consensus amongst the participants and the EC representative over the importance of including marine issues to the next ICT work programme under alignment with the ICT-related research strands within the Blue Growth programme under Societal Challenges or under Research Infrastructures.
• It is necessary to maintain joint databases, and raise awareness about and extending already existing ones, like EUROcean Marine research infrastructure database http://rid.eurocean.org/
• With the Galway Agreement, the collaboration on joint issues on the Atlantic was agreed upon trilaterally between Europe, Canada and the USA. The intersecting fields of Marine and ICT research are not bound to the Atlantic Ocean only and therefore collaboration endeavours should be conceptualised and conducted globally.
c- Nano for food Roundtable – February 29, 2016, Ottawa
The “Nano for Food” workshop brought together 23 European and Canadian representatives from academia, industry and governmental agencies to discuss the opportunities and challenges associated with the application of nanotechnologies in the food chain. They spoke of how nanotechnologies offer the opportunity to develop a new food system approach that addresses societal challenges by supporting quality rather than quantity, health, sustainability and food security. This could be achieved through the application of nanotechnologies: to produce more nutritious and diverse food (e.g. through nanoemulsions, nanoencapsulation); to reduce negative environmental impacts (e.g. through nanofertilizers, nanopesticides); to increase local production and biodiversity (e.g. precision agriculture, nanosensors); and to contribute to more effective and efficient food distribution (e.g. nanopackaging, nanosensors).
Workshop participants identified a number of common challenges including: 1) the need for an interdisciplinary approach to evaluate the impact of nanotechnology applications along the whole food chain; 2) a lack of methodologies to address the safety of nanomaterials on human health and the environment; 3) a lack of clarity on how regulations will be applied to the sector; 4) limited dialogue and transparency with consumers regarding the application of nanotechnologies across the food chain and limited understanding of consumers’ perceptions of nanomaterials in food; 5) a lack of long-term government funded programs to support innovation in the sector; and 6) a lack of R&D investments by large companies in the sector.
Participants recommended that policy makers in Canada and the EU:
• View nanotechnologies as a means for developing a new food system approach that addresses societal challenges by supporting quality rather than quantity, health, sustainability and food security.
• Ensure all stakeholders including regulators and consumers are engaged from the start in open dialogue about the application of nanotechnologies in the food chain (otherwise developing the technologies will just become a scientific exercise).
• Support bilateral agreements and funding to carry out further interdisciplinary research to develop a new food system approach and to develop innovative food related applications using nanotechnology that both integrate risk and safety assessments and consider consumer perceptions.
It was also recommended that Canadian policy makers (from Health Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and DFAIT) meet to discuss how they might better coordinate their work in this sector.
d- Aeronautics Roundtable at the 8th CRIAQ Research Forum, April 27, 2016, Montreal
The fourth roundtable was integrate in the 8th CRIAQ Research Forum on April 27, 2016 at the Palais des Congres in Montreal. More than 700 delegates participated in the forum.
For this forum, ERA-Can+:
• Helped identify and provide financial support for the participation of selected panelists, workshop speakers, moderators and key participants at the forum. In the end, seven were supported by ERA-Can+.
• Advertised the forum broadly via tweets, the ERA-Can+ newsletter, Universities Canada’s membership, and via the relevant national and regional contact points.
• Hosted a booth on ERA-Can+ throughout the day. At least 100 people dropped by for information.
• Contributed funding to an evening networking reception that brought together about 80 Canadian and international workshop participants (including participants from Germany, France, Belgium, the UK and Italy).
• Developed guidelines for the workshop key participants and assist with logistics and note taking as required.
The afternoon of the forum offered five simultaneous workshops on five different topics. Each one began with brief presentations by experts to set the context. The two-hour workshop discussions among the 620 forum participants enabled CRIAQ to identify more than 600 potential research subjects, more than 200 supporting activities, as well as a number of project ideas.
“Materials”, “Data” and “Systems” emerged as cross-cutting discussion themes across all five workshops. The advantage of developing cross-sector technologies was made evident.
An analysis of the workshop data indicated four broad categories of supporting activities that could help propel the research. These four categories and examples of the proposed activities follow.
• Education
• Develop an expert system or artificial intelligence tools to transfer key knowledge
• Organize awareness seminars on cyber security
• Disseminate best practices for additive manufacturing in SMEs (training/case studies)
• Cooperation and collaboration
• Cooperate with other space institutes
• Facilitate transversal expertise on collaborative projects
• Form collaborations with other industries (automotive, land turbines, furniture)
• Share resources
• Create open data for research, similar to Eurocontrol
• Share simulation/energy costs

• Facilitate alignment and the development of technology roadmaps
• Align work with national priorities and the capacities of universities
• Have projects between NSERC/CSA to stimulate research
• Develop common roadmaps for the end user and the tech developer
The afternoon panel focused on how to advance international collaborations in research and development. Some of the key discussions and recommendations that emerged follow:
• The creation of clusters such as EMC2 and CRIAQ helps move forward international collaboration in aerospace and has been useful to create links between supply chains in France and Canada, as well as establishing a forum for discussions between industry, academia and government.
• The benefits of participation in H2020 need to be made clear for researchers from outside the EU given that they do not normally receive EC financial support.
• The EC Coordinated calls with Canada in aerospace are seen as models which should be replicated with Canada in other sectors.
• Canadian government agencies (e.g. NSERC, provincial governments) have a role in trying to promote interdisciplinary collaborations between industry, SMEs and academia. They need to fund R&D and ensure conditions allow for participation of all players. They need to help ensure momentum is not lost when funding for a particular project ends.
• Aligning national funding programs with international colleagues (e.g. H2020) would be helpful. But agencies like NSERC also need to be able to demonstrate how such investments benefit Canadians (H2020 calls are for benefits of EU).
• Governments need to establish clear policies and rules around funding priorities, evaluation criteria and keep administration simple. IPR also needs to be addressed for international collaborations. Funding programs need to be flexible.
e- Marshalling Incubators to Build Global Companies – May 8-11, 2016, Galway and Dublin
In May 2016, the ERA-Can+ partners, hosted a multi-sectoral team of experts to Galway, Ireland where they met with a group that represented some of Europe’s most successful incubators and accelerators. The group convened in Galway and Dublin for three days of discussions and site visits. The roundtable aimed to explore means by which incubators engage academics, successfully, as a market. In the process, roundtable participants proceeded to identify best practices and explore common mistakes and gaps of incubators in Canada and Europe. There were around 18 participants.
Following the meeting, roundtable participants put forward a list of recommendations focused around 6 themes:
• Improve access to information
o Recommendation: Create a national network for incubators and accelerators that presents a single point of reference for potential partners and aspiring entrepreneurs. Support dissemination of information about this network with easy access to information about the focus of each incubator and accelerator as well as information about the types of support programs each offers.
• Skip the unicorns, focus on gazelles and chickens
o The exclusive pursuit of unicorns over-values an asset and drives down the value of others which are just as likely to result in payoffs. Recommendation: Diversify your portfolio: attract and pursue chickens, gazelles and unicorns to achieve greater social and economic impact.
• Establish qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure long term success;
o Recommendation: Identify and implement a common set of long and short term indicators that include qualitative and quantitative metrics for success could enable incubators and accelerators with diverging objectives to find commonality within this suite of metrics that also enable domestic and international benchmarking.
• Foster relationship building;
o Recommendation: Diversify the stage of companies within their institutions to bring in more external experts from the private sector and create programs and proximity for purposeful engagement between researchers and entrepreneurs.
• Bake international experiences into incubators and accelerators;
o Recommendation: Implement a student credit transfer mechanism that promotes domestic and international student mobility.
• Connect to incubators and accelerators in other markets.
o Recommendation: Initiate discussions to build an international network of incubators and accelerators.
The roundtable also led to a number of positive outcomes for improved Canada-EU collaboration in innovation:
• Bring the Canadian Incubation landscape closer to the EU networks, share programs and best practice exchange
• Identify new markets
• Foster partnership opportunities within Canada
• Strengthen relationships within Europe
• Influence the policy process
Two participants recently presented the findings and recommendations of the roundtable to a few members of the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology. The presentation was later shared with the whole committee via the clerk.
f- Big Data and Health Roundtable - May 25, 2016, Saint-Martin d’Hères
The sixht roundtable took place in Saint-Martin d’Hères, France on May 25, 2016 with 10 Canadian and European representatives from academia and research organisations.
The objective of the roundtable was to address how European and Canadian research communities can exchange and partner in fields related to “big data and health issues” and contribute together to the identification of new areas for collaboration and outline potential joint endeavours. It also provided inputs for EU-Canada S&T policy dialogue (through the JSTCC), and allow these parties to align priorities, and identify opportunities, instruments and funding modalities to be mobilised by the different stakeholders. The targeted challenges were the following:
• Medical data collection
• Mining of big data and protection of personal data
• Infrastructures and calculations paradigms
The roundtable permitted relationship building and exchange of best practice among participants. Indeed, two European and Canadian experts informed us that following their meeting in May in Grenoble, they were advancing French-Canadian projects with another participant. Two joint projects are being developed and several phone discussions took place .

- Working Visits
Working visits were organized to encourage networking and partnership development between innovation actors with a view to fostering knowledge transfer between university/public sector researchers, science and technology parks, research driven clusters and SME/business sectors. These working visits included a series of one-week meetings in 2-3 European countries, for Canadian researchers/innovation managers interested in developing proposals with Europeans focused on selected societal challenges.
Three working visits were organised:
• Austria, Hungary and Slovakia in June 2015 (3 Canadian participants);
• Ireland in May 2016 (4 Canadian and 6 European participants);
• Germany in June 2016 (3 Canadian and 11 European participants).

a- Working visit to Austria, Hungary and Slovakia, June 2015
The first working visit of three Canadian STI representatives, took place from the 8th to the 12th of June 2015 in Austria, Hungary and Slovakia.
Canadian experts were invited to join a series of events in Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest to support knowledge exchange on the topic of Smart Cities and related components. The thematic framing included, but was not limited to the following strands:
• Intelligent and green transportation
• ICT infrastructure
• Healthcare and biotechnology
The outcomes were the following:
• The three Canadian experts were able to connect with smart city experts, city representatives, researchers, innovators, business people and government officials from at least three different EU countries in three different cities. All three are planning to come back to Europe.
• In collaboration with the local embassies, several events were organised with ERA-Can+ information sessions reaching more than 150 scientists and innovators in all three countries, meeting great interest and great questions from the community.
• A feature mentioning the ERA-Can+ project was published on local radio in Slovakia, Social Media activity around the events was significant and personal requests for more information were received.
• A memorandum of understanding between CABI and the Hungarian Ministry of Human Capacities and Higher Education was agreed upon and is now being negotiated.
• Established contacts in the three target countries for the Canadian experts.
• Raised awareness of benefits of collaboration with Canada in STI and programme opportunities.
• Raised awareness of the mechanisms in the innovation systems in each country.
b- Working visit to Ireland, May 2016
The second working visit took place on the sidelines of the May 2016 roundtable on Incubators and Accelerators to take advantage of the presence of Canadians in Ireland for the roundtable. Two series of visits were planned. On May 9th and 10th, the first series of visits in Galway took the Canadian and European delegates to the Galway Technology Centre (GTC), Galway’s Innovation District and PorterShed, a co-working space, and the National University of Ireland. The second visit took place on May 11th and brought four Canadians and two European delegates to the Dublin Institute of Technology.
The objective of the working visit was to bring together representatives from the leading and most successful incubators and accelerators in Canada and Europe to explore ways through which incubators and accelerators can drive innovation more successfully and help Canadian experts to better understand the local innovation ecosystem and where partnership opportunities may be possible. A secondary objective was to provide additional opportunities to roundtable participants to mingle, build relationships and share information.
The working visit took place in only one country (Ireland), but brought Canadian delegates in contact with European delegates from several different countries. As these events were closely linked to the roundtable on incubators and accelerators, a list of outcomes is available in the roundtable section of this report.
c- Working visit to Germany, June 2016 (organised by DLR)
For the third working visit three Canadian experts were invited to join a working visit in Germany for June 15-18, 2016 to support knowledge exchange on the topic of innovation and specifically on incubation and acceleration. There were around 15 Canadian and European delegates. The working visit built on the results of the ERA-Can+ Symposium on Trans-Atlantic Innovation held in Toronto, ON, on June 25, 2015. In accordance with the objectives of the symposium to increase awareness of opportunities for innovation and collaboration between Canada and Europe, the working visit demonstrated opportunities for collaboration on incubation and acceleration between Canada and Germany. While the working visit took place in Germany, some of the selected Germany organizations were chosen as they also reflected a broader EU perspective of innovation and incubation. Germany´s business hub and accelerator ecosystem was demonstrated with the help of a selected few but excellent examples.
The thematic framing included, but was not limited to the following strands:
• Business acceleration
• Business incubation
• Technology-transfer
• Linking academia to industry
The objectives for the working visit were:
• Bringing together experts in the private, academic, and public sectors, to discuss new means of inciting and achieving transatlantic innovation.
• Helping Canadian experts to better understand the local innovation ecosystem and where partnership opportunities may be possible.
• Raise awareness of the benefits of collaboration with Canada in incubation and acceleration program opportunities.
Canadians got an in-depth look into some of Germany´s leading technology transfer hubs and incubators as well as being shown successful examples wherein academia and business have established excellent partnerships. In line with the Canadian research priorities of mobilizing science and technology to Canada´s advantage, as well as with the new government´s call for expanding effective support for incubators and accelerators, the emerging national network for business innovation and cluster support, the visit provided valuable insight into Germany´s approach of bridging the gap between research and industry.

- Brokerage events
The objective was to facilitate connections between Canadian and European researchers and increase Canadian researchers’ understanding of Horizon 2020 and how they can participate in projects and find European partners. Brokerage events are organized in conjunction with the launch of a call for proposals in Brussels so that Canadian participants may find new potential partners through face-to-face meetings.
ERA-CAN+ supported Canadian experts for their participation in the ICT Conference (two in 2015 and three in 2015) and in the Space week organised in Rome from the 21st to the 23rd of October 2015 (three experts).
Reports from participants highlighted that the outcomes were very positive. They pointed out that they were able to benefit fully from both informal and formal networking sessions, extend their network and get in touch with European partners for key developments of their projects.
- Project twinning
The Twinning Programme’s aim was to create links between Canadian and European researchers by inviting FP7/H2020 coordinators to submit proposals for twinning with similar Canadian projects to increase synergies with Canadian researchers.
Support was provided for the pairing of European-funded projects and Canadian-funded projects so that partners could undertake new networking and research collaborations and develop strategies for long-term, sustainable cooperation. Applications could align with any thematic area, however, priority was given to those areas that were jointly identified by the EC and the Government of Canada (DFAIT): aeronautics, space, the Arctic, health, ICT, marine and maritime research, food security and sustainable agriculture.
The maximum amount of funding per project was €6,000. The pilot call for proposal was launched on the 1st of October 2015 and the deadline to submit proposals was the 4th of January 2016. Thirty-three applications were submitted to the competition. All ERA-Can+ project partners participated in the review and selection of proposals. Five twinning projects were funded for a period of six months, from January to July 2016.

The project’s third explicit aim was to support the STI coordination.
To reach this second explicit aim, a series of activities were implemented.

1- NCP AND CANADA-EU PROJECTS COORDINATION
This task involved all ERA-Can+ partners to ensure regular communication and the organization of annual meetings with Canadian NCPs, FP7/Horizon 2020 CSA projects (such as CANNAPE, in aeronautics; and BIO TRIANGLE in biotechnologies, etc.) as well as Canadian ECN members and the EU Centres of Excellence in Canada in addition to Canadian projects that support international cooperation (such as the SSHRC-funded Canada-Europe Transatlantic Dialogue project). It aimed to encourage coordination and identification of best practices and engage each in ERA-Can+ policy dialogue, cooperation and coordination activities. These meeting were organized in conjunction with the three project meetings organized in Canada in order to economize on travel costs.
Currently, there are 15 NCPs in 11 sectors and 16 Regional Contact Points (RCPs) from the provinces and territories assisting NCPs in regional outreach.

2- PRIORITY SETTING WORKSHOPS
This task involved the organization of four high level expert workshops in targeted societal challenges in order to prepare four Implementation Plans for the roadmaps defined by the joint research agenda of Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee. The high level expert group drew on representatives of NCP and EEN networks as well as research and innovation managers. The implementation plans described the possible joint activities (e.g. research workshops, summer schools, working visits, joint calls, program level cooperation, projects twinning and/or institutional cooperation) including the potential targeted opportunities, instruments and funding modalities that can be mobilized by the different stakeholders. Four workshops took place.

- First priority setting workshop
The first priority setting workshop on nanotechnology with a focus on Nanosafety, was held in Brussels on June 13, 2014.
The objectives were to
• Examine potential frameworks for transatlantic cooperation in nanotechnology with a focus on nanosafety;
• Identify areas and issues of common interest to Canada and the EU in nanosafety.
Prior to the workshop, participants had proposed the following topics for discussion that the moderator then categorized under three headings:
• Accelerating innovation and nanosafety
• Structural needs for sound science
• Knowledge generation
The PSW revealed major differences between the Canadian and the EU “Nanosafety ecosystems”; the EU system being more integrated and centralized than the Canadian one. A European policy on Nanosafety has been implemented while there is no national equivalent in Canada. The differences, between the Canadian and the European nanosafety systems in terms of organization and involvement of the various stakeholders are therefore significant.
Owing to these differences, the participants agreed that common topics for cooperation in the field of Nanosafety could not be identified.
Nevertheless, opportunities for Canadians to integrate some European structures were evoked, such as the NANoREG project (http://nanoreg.eu/), the nanosafety cluster (http://www.nanosafetycluster.eu/), the communities of research (www.us-eu.org), or ERA-Net (SIINN ERA-NET). The calls that are currently opened in the field of nanotechnology (Work Package “Nanotechnologies, advanced materials and production” under the “Industrial Leadership” pillar) represent other potential gateways for Canadians to participate in EU Programs.
Although Nanosafety is not a priority for cooperation, other aspects of the field of Nanotechnology are worth being explored such as Nanotechnology Experts and Facilities or Nanotechnology Commercialization Ecosystem.

- Second priority setting workshop
The second priority setting workshop on the arctic took place in Tromsø, Norway on January 21st, 2015. The Trilateral Arctic EU-CAN-US Working Group formed as part of the Transatlantic Ocean Research Alliance due to the signing of Galway Statement in April 2013. The WG aimed to explore potential areas of trilateral scientific cooperation in the field of Arctic and among the similar fields of activity that each of the bilateral Working Groups has identified so far in their Statements of Purpose. At this workshop a Canada-EU and a US-EU Statement of Purpose were signed.
The three delegations for the Workshop were composed of scientists representing major networks and key on-going projects (in particular multilateral projects which already support international cooperation), as well as science-policy officers representing governmental departments and funding agencies.
The discussion focused on the three common potential areas of cooperation:
• Arctic observing systems, data sharing and observing infrastructure;
• The impact of Arctic changes on the weather and climate of Northern latitudes in general and their impacts on northern infrastructure and communities in particular
• The impact of climate change on Arctic systems and the related socio-economic risks, opportunities and requirements for adaptation and mitigation
The workshop featured two break-out sessions for the common potential areas of cooperation:
Break-out Group One: Arctic observing systems, data sharing and observing infrastructure and the impact of arctic changes on the weather and climate of northern latitudes
The group agreed that these four points are the summary of the break-out session:
1. YOPP (The Year of Polar Prediction, 2017-2019) opportunities, filling the data desert
2. Four main areas of action about predictability:
a. arctic changes
b. teleconnections
c. ecosystem and socio economy impact
d. effectiveness of adaptation and mitigation strategies
3. Data interoperability, QA/QC, data bases, free and open access, standardisation, integration of key parameters for delivering services
4. Key issue to co-design and co-deliver these points together with stakeholders

Break-out Session Two: The Impact of climate change on arctic ecosystems and the related socio-economic risk and opportunities
The group agreed that these four points are the summary of the break-out session:
• Develop an integrated science plan
• Define joint priorities
• Integrated funding
• Integrate infrastructure use

Unfortunately, many of the research networks and observing systems discussed at this workshop lack resources and long term funding. They need more capacity and continuity, which could be strengthened with more attention to governance, structure and combined funding. One possibility is an international agreement among countries (Arctic plus others) to build the coordinating structure and ensure long-term funding. The US Co-Chair suggested that a series of workshops could be organised by some of the participants.
The following provide an overview of the types of activities that the trilateral WG should address:
• Development of themes (e.g., observation)
• Data Integration, determine how to make data usable and accessible. SAON data committee has merged with IASC data committee.
• Integration of Science Plans: All agreed on the importance of integrating or developing common science plans and agendas. Since the EU is now developing its EU Polar Research Programme through the EU-Polar-Net, this offers some good opportunities.
• Funding Integration to assess how to align national funding programs with project funds or other types of funds.
• Governance Integration to ensure that the money spent provides useful outcomes to society.
• Sustainability: It is a major issue. Long term investments need to occur in order to achieve results. The stop and go process does not work.
• Inclusiveness: It is necessary to bring in social scientists and economists, as well as the communities. Science is also needed for the people that live in the arctic.
• Big picture perspective: any attempt should serve to all of the society’s needs.

- THIRD PRIORITY SETTING WORKSHOP
The third priority setting workshop took place in Lisbon, Portugal on October 19th, 2015 and addressed Big Data. The objective was to enable the EU and Canadian research and innovation communities (including members from academia, the private and public sectors) to identify areas for collaboration and outline potential joint endeavours around big data challenges as addressed in the 2016-2017 Horizon 2020 ICT Work Programme and beyond. Discussion focused particularly on collaboration in the areas of research data management and the Big Data Value Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The workshop brought together 30 people including 12 European and 12 Canadian experts, 3 European Commission representatives and 3 ERA-Can+ partners.
Participants recommended that Canadian and EU policy makers and funders support:
• the data management infrastructure and accompanying human capacity required to facilitate the sharing of data across institutions and borders (there need to be agreed upon standards and funders should require researchers to provide access not just to their project data but to their software coding and tools to facilitate reliability and scalability);
• the sharing of best practices around data management issues;
• greater collaboration between SMEs, industry and academia in innovation spaces; and,
• Canada-EU research collaborations in the areas of data privacy and open data, as well as in the cultural sector and in digital humanities (the latter have not had much prominence in H2020 calls to date).
Participants suggested various avenues and next steps to facilitate such collaborations including:
• promoting researcher mobility and networking;
• creating expert inventories and mapping innovation in Canada and the EU;
• addressing talent shortages and encouraging more women to join the sector;
• exploring opportunities for Canadian participation in the BDVA, H2020 and other calls; and,
• organizing a roundtable to discuss opportunities for Canada-EU collaboration on data privacy issues.
During the workshop Compute Canada and EGI signed an MOU to create global environments for shared e-infrastructure and to enhance collaborations within the international research community.
- FOURTH PRIORITY SETTING WORKSHOP
The fourth priority setting workshop, took place in Edmonton, Canada on April 19th, 2016 and addressed energy and climate change with a focus on smart grids and energy storage systems. The workshop brought together 28 Canadian and European participants from industry, governmental agencies, and academia to discuss opportunities for collaboration in the sector.
It was recommended that the European Commission consider the four research areas listed below for inclusion in Horizon 2020’s Work Programme for 2018-2020, while Canadian agencies that sponsor energy research consider creating mechanisms to provide partner funding in-synch with H2020.
1. The Transmission System: to create a more flexible structure that could incorporate increasing proportions of renewable low-carbon energy source technologies and energy storage approaches, while maintaining grid stability.
2. The Distribution System (or local micro-grid), which is either connected-to or isolated-from a transmission grid that links to other micro-grids to allow for integrated local distributed power generation, energy storage, and demand-side management.
3. Enabling Technologies – including smart open-platform and interoperable end-use devices and appliances – that can communicate with the smart grid, modeling and computational capabilities of large-data for information and operation technologies to optimize system performance, and security protocols to manage privacy concerns.
4. Social and Economic Perspectives - to move society and individual users to having a different relationship with the electrical power system that is socially acceptable and encourages participation, and develop robust policies to create a system that is equitable, defines responsibilities and ownership of system assets, and allows for positive business cases to be made for independent low-carbon electricity generation and energy storage, while maintaining relatively inexpensive power.
Participants suggested that a future H2020 call could be on the topic of integrated energy systems at the local level, using medium and low voltage grids, which can be managed either in connection with power grids or in islanding mode.

3- TARGETED SYMPOSIA ON INNOVATION AND MARINE RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURES
Two large symposiums were organised in Canada: one on issues in transatlantic innovation and the second on international research infrastructure.
- INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ARCTIC AND MARINE RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE
A symposium on Marine and Arctic Research Infrastructures took place on September 24-25, 2015 in Halifax. The event was coordinated by CFI with the contribution of DFAIT and the involvement of the Marine and Arctic Working Groups. Sponsored by the ERA-Can+ Project, and in collaboration with the European Commission Directorate General, Research and Innovation, Infrastructures Unit, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the 2nd Trilateral symposium was conceived as a follow-up of the Rome Symposium and brought together top researchers, facility managers and funding agency officials from Europe, the Unites States and Canada. The goal was to continue the discussions started in 2013 on how best to maximise the development and use of the research infrastructures that are necessary to conduct cutting-edge research in Arctic and marine environments. Dalhousie University acted as hosts for the symposium and provided an excellent venue that all participants enjoyed.
The central question emerging from the Rome Symposium was how to develop a process for coherent international scientific planning to make optimal use of the complex and expensive research infrastructures that are necessary to conduct leading-edge research in the remote and hostile Arctic and marine environments. The Rome Symposium began the discussions on how such a process might be developed. Since the first Symposium, the USA-Canada-EU Arctic Working Group and the USA-Canada-EU Marine Working Group have both signed ‘Statements of Purpose’, confirming their intent to work towards the leveraging of opportunities for the shared use of infrastructure and installations. Given these developments, this symposium was intended to build on progress to date and facilitate further discussions on how to increase collaboration in the development and use of Arctic and marine research infrastructures.
Objectives:
• Continue the high-level discussions on how a coherent international scientific planning process can be developed;
• Assess the progress made to date by the various agencies, organizations, and working groups involved;
• Identify and prioritize next steps in moving the discussions forward, and more generally,
• Further the core objectives of the Galway Statement to foster cooperation and collaboration, notably regarding use and access to research infrastructures, in areas of common scientific interest between the three signatories.
Since the signing of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Research Cooperation in 2013, significant progress has been made in fostering international collaboration in marine and Arctic research. Both the 2013 Rome Symposium and the 2015 Halifax Symposium made clear, however, the much remains to be done. And while the differences between the various jurisdictions involved are becoming well known, the process of finding pathways to overcome these differences is just beginning.
Most encouraging, however, is that the discussions at the Halifax Symposium focused on roles, responsibilities and opportunities. Common ground on both the scientific and strategic policy interests of all three jurisdictions involved has now been identified and articulated. The symposium participants all agreed that the research challenges in both the marine and Arctic environments are at such as scale, in terms of their importance to society, their difficulty to address, and the costs involved, that they require sustained international collaboration. This in itself represents a significant step forward. The central questions now revolve around issues of communication, coordination, alignment and inclusion.

For example, the symposium participants clearly articulated that the sharing of information, from data produced by specific research projects, to inventories of research infrastructures, to national-level science planning, is one of the most important means to fostering international collaboration and coordination. Today, the sharing of information can be accomplished far more efficiently and effectively than at any time in the past, but questions still remain in relation to roles, responsibilities and sources of financial support.
The symposium also made clear that all those stakeholders who need to be involved in the multi-lateral discussions around challenges and opportunities in Arctic and marine research are not yet at the table. This is particularly the case with Russian scientists and Russian science agencies. It is also, to some extent, the case with the private sector and with science-based government departments and organizations. As the participants in one of the breakout sessions emphasized, there is a growing need for the research community to communicate with the wider world that international collaboration is both possible and that it works. This in itself will help bring additional stakeholders into the discussions and ultimately lead to more substantial and positive impacts on society and on the marine and Arctic environments.
- SYMPOSIUM ON TRANSATLANTIC INNOVATION
On Thursday, June 25, 2015, more than 120 delegates convened in Toronto at the MaRS Discovery District. Delegates travelled to Toronto from Ireland, Austria, Germany, Portugal, Hungary, France and most Canadian provinces and territories. The symposium was designed to increase awareness of opportunities for innovation and collaboration between Canada and Europe, to explore areas of strength, and to identify prospects for future collaboration in academia and the private sector through the mechanisms available under Horizon 2020.
The day was organized into three components. The first component consisted of two panel discussions. The first panel discussion, Celebrating successes, examined areas where Canada and Europe have and are achieving successful collaborations in academia, the private sector, and through public sector negotiations. Kurtis McBride of MIOVision and Lizbeth Goodman of the University College of Dublin, Ireland each spoke to their respective transatlantic collaboration experiences. Phil Turi, of the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, and representative for the Enterprise Canada Network, provided information about services available to Canadian firms wishing to conduct business in Europe.
The second panel, Leading edge of incubation, moderated by Gail Gillian with the Canadian Association of Business Incubation (CABI), discussed the respective strengths of Canadian and German incubators and accelerators to fuel ideas and turn them into enterprises. Laura Kohler, CEO of the European Innovation Hub in Germany, Jenni Salonga, Manager of the Business Incubation Research Park in Edmonton and Ben Zlotnick, Founder and CEO of INCubes Accelerator in Toronto each spoke to their experiences in this industry, and the potential for increased collaboration between Canada and Europe in this area. This panel was complemented by tours of Waterloo-based incubators on June 24 and Toronto-area incubators on June 26.
The third part of the day featured four roundtable discussions, one on each of the four following topics:
• New models of financing innovation, facilitated by Kevin Fitzgibbons, Acting Associate Vice-President, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada;
• Big and open data partnerships, facilitated by Kevin Tuer, Managing Director at Open Data Exchange, Communitech (Canada) and Pierre Simay, International Research Cooperation Manager, Institut Mines-Télécom (France);
• International incubator collaboration, facilitated by Joe Greaney, Director, Westbic (Ireland), and Carol Stewart, Manager, David Johnston Research and Technology Park (Canada); and,
• Talent for the innovation economy, facilitated by Val Walker of Mitacs (Canada).
Each roundtable engaged a few dozen people in forward-thinking, action-oriented discussions about trends in these areas and sought to identify programmatic or policy oriented next steps for consideration by the ERA-Can+ advisory committee.
The final Innovation Symposium report was published in June 2016 and put forward a list of recommendations for each of the four aforementioned key areas:
New models of financing innovation
In response to these gaps, participants put forward a number of recommendations:
• Smart investors who have built companies in the past are more successful at guiding new businesses. Canada needs to develop a strategy for building or attracting and then retaining smart investors to focus and direct domestic AI and VC.
• Canadian companies exiting to the US are selling for an average of 30 percent below their US counterparts because they sell before they gain market access. Canadian companies need to build traction in Europe and Asia before they sell to the US. Canadian VC firms need relationships with their counterparts in Europe in order to create market space for each other before selling to the US.
Big and open data partnerships
Participants recommended that Canada creates its own roadmap for Big Data. Such a document would identify the players, infrastructure, funding opportunities, (federal) leadership and next steps. Such a roadmap could create awareness of Canadian initiatives and could spur more strategic use of the Tri-Council Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) program as a means to leverage international partnerships in this area.
In the interest of continuing the valuable discussion that took place, participants identified the following next steps for the ERA-Can+ consortium and the panel facilitators:
• Convene a discussion of Canadian and European delegates at the ICT conference in Lisbon in October 2015.
• Before September 2016, engage the ERA-Can+ consortium to host a priority setting workshop in the area of Big Data to identify research areas where Canadian and European researchers share expertise and which could form the basis of a call for funds under H2020.
Participants also recommended the European Commission promote and leverage the Future Internet Public Private Partnership through the ERA-Can+ network.
International incubator collaboration
This group agreed to examine the viability of developing an international network of incubators.

Talent for the innovation economy
In response to these gaps, participants voiced a number of recommendations or supported those put forward by other champions and thought leaders, including:
• Allocation of $50M per year for labour market data collection in order to provide PSE institutions and industry with more detailed, robust labour market data and educational outcomes.
• Standardization of credits from province to province as well as between Canada and Europe. Increased consistency would enable more students to gain credit for their studies abroad and reduce some of the barriers associated with this type of non-traditional learning as well as those associated with study abroad.
Participants also suggested better data and a clearer understanding of outcomes would provide a compelling case for and demonstrate how to build better linkages between academia and industry in the form of joint programs, practicums and internships; inform PSE curriculum development; and, encourage universities to modify their formal reward systems to recognize and reward study abroad. Participants suggested that these initiatives might be funded by redirecting federal investment in indirect support for research, e.g. SR&ED.
Participants further recommended that Universities Canada collect data and publish reports on labour market and educational outcomes.
The Innovation Symposium also led to a number of positive outcome for improved Canada-EU collaboration in innovation:
• Fostered international partnerships - Symposium participants have been in touch with their European or Canadian counterparts to discuss potential areas of collaboration
• Built new relationships within our regions
• Identified new ERA-Can+ friends and allies
Both the Innovation Symposium and Symposium Marine and Arctic Research Infrastructures were crucial to advance the dialogue on innovation collaboration between Canada and Europe, and especially in regards to releasing the untapped potential of our incubators and accelerators. From these two symposia emerged a discussion that eventually led to the organization of a roundtable on incubators and accelerators that was held in Galway, Ireland in May 2016 to explore ways in which incubators and accelerators in Canada and in Europe can drive innovation more successfully.
4- JOINT MEMBER STATE LIAISON OFFICE IN CANADA

The European research organizations already established in Canada were consulted as well as national governments in their respective capitals. The aim was to study the possibility of bringing together representatives of European research organizations for the establishment of a “Joint EU Member State Liaison Office for STI” in Ottawa. The activity also included the preparation of a Feasibility study on the interests, issues and possible “next steps.”

Potential Impact:
The ERA-Can+ project used several instruments to disseminate its results.

1- website
ERA-Can+ launched a website as a central point of information about project activities, materials available and also general relevant information about Europe-Canada science, technology and innovation collaboration and policies. www.era-can.net will still be kept available in an archived version for one year after project end. On average, there were more than 1,000 unique visitors on the website each project month (average since website launch). By project end, there were around 350 website posts published. Our event calendar lists 86 ERA-Can+ organised events and another 75 events of relevance or with ERA-Can+ contribution.
As a special product, an own section was created on the website, that gathers and features 24 success stories of Europe-Canada science, technology and innovation cooperation: http://www.era-can.net/collaborations/

2- Social media
ERA-Can+ cultivated three different social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, building upon, extending and enlarging the networks created by the predecessor projects. The social media channels were mainly used as additional sources for website referrals and to enable additional conversation with the stakeholders beyond face-to-face meetings.
- Facebook
The referral function worked visibly well, but played a comparably small role as compared to direct visitors, visitors that were directed to the page via web search or were referred to the page via other websites. The ERA-Can+ Facebook page had 281 followers (“likes”) at the end of the project and reached up to 250 people with the highly popular posts. The page is available at https://www.facebook.com/europeanresearchareacanada .
- Twitter
Twitter was a highly populated social media stream for the ERA-Can+ project. https://twitter.com/era_can had more than 400 followers at project end, almost 500 tweets, 355 likes and followed 323 other multipliers and stakeholder twitter users. From May 2012 to September 2016, on average ERA-Can+ posted every three days, was mentioned and retweeted more than 200 times. 30% of all tweets were retweeted and almost a quarter was favorited.
- LinkedIn
Unfortunately, LinkedIn has abandoned its analytics section during project life-time. Therefore, at project end we only have statistics from the interim evaluation available. The statistics below allow two conclusions:
1. The number of members in our LinkedIn group increased by more than 60% since the mid-term evaluation in March 2015 (from 106 to 166 members)
2. The members of this group are exactly the stakeholders we wanted to reach in terms of “Function”, “Seniority”, “Industry” and “Location”

3- Newsletter
By September 2016, there were 2066 subscribers for the English version of the ERA-Can+ newsletter and 250 for the French one. In total the project counted 2316 registered newsletter recipients for the official project newsletter that was sent out on a regular base and in total 42 times. Universities Canada, who sent out a targeted ERA-Can+ newsletter for their domestic (Canadian) stakeholders, had close to 400 subscribers sending out 42 updates during the project. The PPF was sending out at least 20 invitations to ERA-Can+ events to their general list of contacts with approximately 4000 people subscribed in Canada. As a targeted newsletter, relevant information, event invitations and documents was sent to the ICT NCP Canada EU database subscriber list of 140 National and Regional Contact Points (NCPs/RCPs) in Canada by Global Affairs Canada. This network of NCPs served as multiplier for further distribution within the country.
4- Helpdesk
The ERA-Can+ Helpdesk as part of WP3 was handling more than 700 interactions over the mail address helpdesk@era-can.net ZSI established and maintained as part of the communication work package as a service.

5- Guides
- Guide for Canadians to Horizon 2020
This guide was mainly distributed in Canada and considered highly useful for navigating through framework programme structure and regulations. In addition, the content was supported by the regular ERA-Can+ webinars. The few hundred copies printed locally in Canada were all disseminated, but much more often the guide was downloaded on-line.
- Guide for Canadians on Multilateral Cooperation with Europe
The Guide to Multilateral Cooperation was printed for distribution in Canada to all member institutions of Universities Canada: 80 copies of the English and 30 copies of the French version of the guide. In addition this guide was also promoted and distributed on-line: http://www.era-can.net/canada/multilateral-guide/
- Guide for Europeans to Canadian Science, Technology and Innovation Programs
The Guide for Europeans to Canadian STI programmes was printed more than 1,500 times in English and French and distributed all over Europe during the many ERA-Can+ information sessions.
http://www.era-can.net/resources/guide-canadian-programs/

6- Events and Workshops
A very important means of communication project results were physical events of which ERA-Can+ organised many (mainly in the context of WP3), but also contributed to external events, reaching in sum several thousand individuals with our topics. Apart from the defined WP3 events, a long list of communication events and on-event communication activities have been conducted by all partners under WP5.

7-Promotional Material and Print Product Outputs
Print material and project promotional tools (like the ERA-Can+ roll-up) were used and successfully raised awareness for the project objectives and outcomes. According to the original description of work it was envisioned to print leaflets and create two videos. However, during the amendment process it was agreed that instead of two videos it would be more efficient and effective to instead create a short clip of moving infographics. Additionally, it was decided to create two ERA-Can+ project roll-ups, one for usage in Canada and one for usage in Europe.
- Leaflet
The ERA-Can+ leaflet was created in the beginning of the project and distributed heavily on both sides of the Atlantic. It can be downloaded in a high resolution here: http://www.era-can.net/other/era-can-leaflet/. The leaflet was distributed close to 1,000 times in Canada and roughly another 2,000 times in Europe.
- moving infographics
APRE created a video clip presenting info-graphics about the history of Europe-Canada science, technology and innovation cooperation and policy dialogue as well as explaining the ERA-Can+ project within 3 minutes. The Links below lead to the video platform where the clip will remain available.
http://www.era-can.net/canada/era-can-in-3-minutes/
https://youtu.be/1V6--zPxq4k
The moving info-graphics until now enjoyed 544 views and 2 likes, which are high numbers compared to videos by similar projects.

- Roll-up
The ERA-Can+ project banner was created to support visibility during internal and external events. The two roll-ups printed (one for Canada and one for Europe) were carried around and used extensively.

8- ERA-Can+ in external media channels
There are at least 100 cases of media articles, features, interviews or other formats mentioning or referring to ERA-Can+ activities (not counting event calendar entries on foreign pages or posts on consortium partners’ websites). Yet this figure is estimated as only a part of the actual media coverage around ERA-Can+, since in the framework of this project it is not possible to keep track of all consortium members’ and even less non-member countries’ print publications and broadcasting. Of course, the ERA-Can+ consortium members were promoting ERA-Can+ activities and contents over their networks and websites. To give an idea of the dimensions and audience reach of these activities, data by the Canadian partners were added:
Universities Canada webpage on ERA-Can+:
• October 1, 2013 to December 31, 2014 : 1,599 page views
• January 1, 2015 to Sept 28 2016 : 5,119 page views
Articles in University Affairs: This publication by Universities Canada has a circulation of
• Magazine - 16,062 average circulation,
• e-news - 7,313 average per occurrence,
• website - 80,979 average unique browsers, 10,400 Twitter followers, 2,431 Facebook likes

Over this very well perceived platform, the following articles were published:
• ‘European Commission expands research program with Canada’, Nov.27, 2013
• La Commission européenne élargit son programme de recherche avec le Canada, Nov. 27, 2013
• ‘CRIAQ helps aerospace research take off in Quebec‘, July 19, 2016
• Le CRIAQ donne des ailes à la recherche aérospatiale du Québec, July 19, 2016

Video recordings of for example information session presentations were shared by partners’ video streams. Number of views/downloads of ERA-Can+ videos and webinars on the PPF website:
• Vancouver April 29, 2014 info session: 106 views
• NSERC webinar Sept 26, 2014: 25 views
• SSHRC webinar Sept 23, 2014: 64 views
• Quebec government webinar Sept 24, 2014: 16 views

The ERA-Can+ communication framework can be considered as very successfully and effectively realising the goals it defined with its Communication and Exploitation Plan (Deliverable 5.1).
Targeted and timely communication and dissemination channels and activities made it possible to reach several thousands of individuals. The website served, as planned, as the major project communication hub – for consortium internal and external communication needs and for all stakeholder groups. Additionally, for internal communication, the combination of a team mailing list and a file-sharing platform proved useful and efficient. External communication was enhanced through three social media streams, of which Twitter turned out as the most effective one within this specific cultural context. LinkedIn was reaching our target groups perfectly, but cultivating discussion in this closed group would have taken more time. Finally, several newsletters enhanced the effect of the website, drawing attention to upcoming events and project outputs.
Many project products will survive the project lifetime and remain available after project end.

List of Websites:
http://www.era-can.net

Contact

Diassina Di Maggio, (Director)
Tel.: +390648939993
E-mail
Record Number: 194320 / Last updated on: 2017-02-07