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Teaming up on research and innovation

By NA LI in TORONTO | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-05-18 10:08

Canada and China's partnership on research and innovation is yielding some positive results.

For example, a University of Waterloo spinoff company, StarPower ON Systems, is collaborating with Guangdong Hydrogen Energy Science and Technology to accelerate the research and commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell technologies in transportation and energy storage.

And children with cancer will get better care thanks to a partnership between Toronto's SickKids Hospital and Shenzhen Children's Hospital.

"These partnerships with China are a catalyst for new discoveries in Ontario," Reza Moridi, Ontario minister of research, innovation and science, said at the Ontario-China Research and Innovation Collaboration Forum on Monday in Toronto.

More than 80 Ontario-China partnerships have been developed and have generated investment worth more than $300 million in research and commercialization.

When the minister visited China last month during a mission to strengthen science and technology collaborations between Ontario and China, he said he was deeply impressed by the scale and speed of innovation taking place there.

"I also met with 10 leading Chinese investors in Ontario during the mission," said Moridi. "All of them mentioned to me the key reason why they chose Ontario is because Ontario offers an excellent innovation ecosystem and very favourable R&D tax credits."

China has become Canada's largest source of international students, second-largest trading partner, third-largest tourism market and sixth-largest source of foreign direct investment.

The two sides have signed a science and technology cooperation agreement in such areas as clean technology and life science.

He Wei, Chinese consul general in Toronto, said that with abundant natural resources and advanced scientific capacities, Canada's innovative concept of development has always been a good example for China to follow.

"With a similar size yet a population 40 times that of Canada, China is still a developing country that is trying very hard to handle the relationship between economic growth and environmental protection," he said to a group of Ontario participants and Chinese delegates at the forum.

"As China has determined to pursue a sustainable development through scientific innovation, there are a lot of potentials for the two countries to tap, especially in these areas where Canada enjoys advantages, soil and water treatment for example."

In recent years, China attached great importance to the central role innovation plays in driving economic growth. China's investment in research and development (R&D) reached around $223 billion in 2016, accounting for 2.1 percent of GDP.


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