Canadian and UK agencies join forces to establish future research and innovation partnerships

The Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) have signed a letter of understanding (LOU) to strengthen collaborations between Canadian and British researchers and boost joint research through a collaborative approach to research design, funding and review.

The LOU outlines the principles for partnership, which will focus on a bottom-up, agency-to-agency approach to research, science and innovation. It builds on the strong history of collaboration between researchers in Canada and the UK and outlines important objectives and activities. These include:

  • facilitating excellent research, innovation and training activities;
  • working toward a single peer review process for joint Canada–UK projects; and
  • building links and broader partnerships with agencies and departments in Canada and the UK.

Ted Hewitt, SSHRC president and chair of the CRCC, and Mark Thomson, council member of UKRI, signed the LOU on February 12, 2019, at the official residence of Her Excellency Susan le Jeune d’Allegeershecque, CMG, the British High Commissioner to Canada.

“Our research funding agencies strongly support this valuable collaboration with the UKRI because it strengthens Canada's capacity to engage in a rapidly evolving global research landscape. It will position Canada as a global leader in research excellence and training,” said Ted Hewitt.

UKRI and our colleagues in Canada share a firm belief that international collaboration in research and innovation is crucial to increasing prosperity and delivering societal benefits. This letter of understanding further underlines the continuing commitment of our agencies to pursue excellent research and innovation, which benefits everyone in society,” said Mark Thomson, executive chair of UKRI’s Science and Technology Facilities Council and UKRI Executive Committee member.

This LOU builds on the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada and the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning Science, Technology and Innovation, signed on September 18, 2017, in Ottawa, Canada.

The Canada Research Coordinating Committee (CRCC) plays an important role in reinvigorating Canada's support for science and research to meet the current and future needs of the country’s scientists, scholars and students.

The committee was created to improve the coordination efforts of Canada’s principle research granting agencies—the SSHRC, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research—as well as the Canada Foundation for Innovation. CRCC member organizations include these agencies as well as Innovation, Science and Economic Development; the Office of the Chief Science Advisor; Health Canada; and the National Research Council.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. The organisation aims to maximise the contribution of each of its component parts, working individually and collectively. It works with many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas.

Operating across the UK with a budget of more than £7 billion, UKRI brings together the Arts and Humanities Research Council; the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council; the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; the Economic and Social Research Council; Innovate UK; the Medical Research Council; the Natural Environment Research Council; Research England and the Science and Technology Facilities Council.