Export, Innovate, Invest - The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

International Science and Technology Partnerships Program (ISTPP)

What is ISTPP?

The International Science & Technology Partnerships Program (ISTPP) was renewed by the Government of Canada in Budget 2010 to promote international collaborative research and development. The five-year, $20-million program will increase the international competitiveness and prosperity of Canada by building stronger science and technology relationships with Israel, India, China and Brazil.

The ISTPP will foster and support bilateral research projects with potential for commercialization between Canada and partner countries. It will also stimulate bilateral science and technology networking and matchmaking activities to further new partnerships and accelerate the commercialization of research and development. The ISTPP is a "seed fund", meaning that various other public and private sector participants are also encouraged to bring S&T expertise and funds of their own to the bilateral relationship.

Program Objectives

The objectives of the International Science and Technology Partnerships Program (ISTPP) are to:

  • encourage domestic competitiveness through the transfer of technology and knowledge resulting from international science and technology partnerships;
  • foster international science and technology partnerships and collaborative research;
  • accelerate the commercialization of R&D that would benefit Canada, through international partnerships with a focus on small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • access international technologies for Canadian enterprises;
  • promote Canadian R&D capacity and Canada as a destination for foreign technology-based investments;
  • strengthen overall bilateral science and technology relations.

Program Results

The results of the program include:

  • leveraging the global networks critical to commercialization in international markets;
  • accessing the world's best facilities, equipment, talent and knowledge; and
  • creating wealth from Canadian production of innovative goods and services through international linkages.

Responsibility and Accountability

The overall responsibility and accountability for the ISTPP rest with the Minister of International Trade. A Steering Committee internal to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) provides oversight for the program delivery organizations, and advises the Minister on changes and additions to program priorities. An Advisory Committee made up of senior-level government representatives from science based departments involved in supporting international research and development efforts supports coordination with other funding programs across federal departments and agencies. Strategic direction on bilateral S&T priorities is provided by the Joint Cooperation Committees set-up under the science and technology cooperation agreements Canada signed with Brazil, China and India.

Program Delivery

DFATD has selected International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTPPCanada) as the delivery organization for the India, China and Brazil components of the ISTPP. ISTPCanada is a not-for-profit arms-length organization incorporated in Canada which will support up to 50% of the costs of approved joint research projects proposed by companies and other private sector research and development organizations. In addition, ISTPPCanada will conduct partnership development activities to support upcoming calls for proposals.

The Canada Israel Industrial Research & Development Foundation (CIIRDF) is the delivery organization for the Israel component of the ISTPP. CIIRDF is an arms-length bilateral organization incorporated in Canada to foster and support bilateral industrial research projects between Canadian and Israeli companies and supports up to 50% of the costs of approved joint research projects. CIIRDF also organizes and delivers a number of "match-making" events designed to bring together Canadian and Israeli companies to explore partnership opportunities. Funding from each country is provided annually to the Foundation. The program is governed by a six member Board of Directors with half of its members selected by each country. The Board is responsible for all major funding decisions. CIIRDF, with its Program office located in Canada, is managed by a Canadian President and the Chairman of the Board is appointed by the Israeli government.

The primary activity of the arms-length delivery organizations is to deliver program activities under the respective bilateral agreements, including:

  • Providing funding and other support to partnering activities that foster alliances between Canadian SMEs, Canadian research organizations (industry, university and government) and their counterparts in the selected countries; and
  • Supporting Canadian participation in collaborative research projects.

The delivery organizations have considerable independence on their choice of projects and activities to fund, and operate; however, they will adhere to Canada's policy of respecting human rights and will ensure that all projects will be for peaceful, non-military purposes and contribute to the strategic objectives of the ISTPP program and the priorities of the Canadian government.

Project Proposals and Evaluation

Calls for Proposals (CFPs) for collaborative R&D with identified countries will be announced periodically conditional on the funding processes of the partner country. ISTPCanada and CIIRDF are responsible for issuing the Calls for Proposals in Canada. To have the most up-to-date information on upcoming calls and procedures please visit these web sites on a regular basis: ISTPCanada; CIIRDF

The evaluation process will include third party expert evaluations of project proposals, with the final decision body being the Board of Directors of the delivery organization. The delivery organization must ensure:

  • the project contributes to the strategic objectives of the ISTPP program;
  • the priorities of the Canadian government are met including technological and net economic benefits;
  • is technologically feasible;
  • that funding under ISTPP is necessary to ensure project proceeds with the desired scope; and
  • in the event of a commercial success, funding is repaid in whole or in part.

Partner Countries

The continued Canada-Israel Agreement for Industrial Research and Development Cooperation was signed on July 10, 2011. The Agreement renewed the bilateral commitment for the Canada-Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation (CIIRDF) and provides funding of up to $1 million per year for five years from each country.

Contact Information
Requests for project funding for Israel should be directed to CIIRDF

371A Richmond Road
Ottawa, ON K2A 0E7
Tel: (613) 724-1284
Fax: (613) 724-1134

Dr. Henri Rothschild, President
Canada Manager: Tomoko Nishino
Tel: (416)729-3069, ext. 227

The Canada-India Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation was signed on November 18, 2005 and entered into force on November 11, 2008.

The Canada-China Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation was signed on January 16, 2007and entered into force on July 17, 2008.

The Canada-Brazil Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation was signed on November 17, 2008 and entered into force on April 19, 2010.

Contact Information
Requests for project funding for India and China should be directed to ISTPCanada

Address for ISTPCanada

371A Richmond Road, Suite 4
Ottawa, ON K2A 0E7
Tel: (613) 729-3069
Fax: (613) 729-3061

Dr. Pierre Bilodeau, Chief Operating Officer
Tel.: (613) 729-3069 x229

For more general ISTPP information, please contact:

Jayne Galloway
Innovation, Science & Technology Division
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Tel: (613) 995-9998
Email: jayne.galloway@international.gc.ca