OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 2, 2012) - The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State (Science and Technology), today delivered a keynote address at Spinoffs and Startups, a conference examining partnerships between universities, government and business that lead to international collaborations. The conference was held at Carleton University.

Organized by the Embassy of Italy in Ottawa, the Public Policy Forum, Carleton University and the University of Toronto, the conference focused on ways to enhance Canada-Italy partnerships in university research and market-oriented innovations.

"Canada's commitment to international collaborations has been central to our government's science and technology strategy," said Minister of State Goodyear. "Our long-standing cooperation with Italy is fostering greater engagement between research institutions and innovative companies from our two countries."

Canada and Italy are important and compatible science and technology partners. This week, Italy's Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (National Research Council) and Canada's Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council signed a memorandum of understanding recognizing the importance of international scientific cooperation, through which they will lay the groundwork for future collaborations. Canada and Italy also have more than 150 active university-to-university agreements.

Economic Action Plan 2012 announced new resources to realign the government's approach to promoting innovation and to create better opportunities for businesses. This includes providing $400 million to help high-growth firms access risk capital, supporting private and public research collaboration, encouraging innovation through procurement and refocusing the National Research Council of Canada.

Since 2006, the Harper Government has invested nearly $8 billion in initiatives supporting science, technology and the growth of innovative firms in Canada, including $5 billion for advanced research, education and training; $2 billion for post-secondary infrastructure; and $1 billion for applied research and financing. This funding has helped to make Canada a world leader in post-secondary education research and to create the knowledge and highly skilled workforce that are required for a more prosperous economy.

Contact Information:

Michele-Jamali Paquette
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)

Media Relations
Industry Canada