Minister Oliver was joined by Israeli Ambassador to Canada Rafael Barak, Dr. Naomi Azrieli, chair and CEO of the Azrieli Foundation, Dr. Jean Lebel, president of Canada's International Development Research Centre, and Dr. Alain Beaudet, president of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.
The joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program is a seven-year, $35 million program that draws on the scientific strengths of Canadian and Israeli researchers in the broad field of biomedicine. The program will fund up to 30 research projects involving researchers from Canada and Israel with an initial focus on the neurosciences.
The research teams will integrate researchers from low- and middle-income countries to further their scientific capacity. As collaborators or trainees, these researchers will contribute to and benefit from their involvement in the program with the overall aim of strengthening research capacity in low- and middle-income countries, promoting research excellence, and building long-lasting international scientific relationships.
The program is a partnership between the Azrieli Foundation, Canada's International Development Research Centre, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, and the Israel Science Foundation.
The joint Canada-Israel Health Research Program will provide funding for Canadian and Israeli researchers to assemble world-class research teams working in cutting-edge areas of biomedical science, with an initial focus on the neurosciences.
Some 30 grants worth $1 million each will be awarded over the seven-year program. Each grant will include the participation of established researchers and graduate students from low- and middle-income countries.
"Canada and Israel are renowned for excellence in health research, particularly in the neurosciences," said Minister Oliver. "The Canada-Israel Health Research Program harnesses the collective energies of our two great nations to pursue basic biomedical research aimed at improving health outcomes for Canadians, Israelis, and people throughout the world. I am pleased to note that researchers in developing countries will have an opportunity to contribute to these research endeavors as well."
The government of Canada is the largest single investor in health research in Canada. It is also a global leader in the field of international health research. Through CIHR, the federal government is supporting more than 13,700 health researchers and trainees across Canada. Through Canada's IDRC, it is also investing in science that improves maternal and child health, combats crippling diseases, and builds more resilient health systems.
The Israel Science Foundation is the primary public funding body supporting and promoting basic research in Israel. The ISF's research grants are awarded on a competitive basis, according to the highest standards of scientific excellence.