In April 2005, the Governments of Ontario and Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Industrial and Technological Research and Development Cooperation. Under this agreement, the two governments committed to strengthen and promote industrial partnerships and project collaborations of mutual interest to Ontario and Israeli companies. The Ontario-Israel Collaboration Program (OICP) was established to help realize the objectives of this MoU. The Government of Ontario has committed $6 million to the OICP from 2007 to 2014, with matching funds allocated by OCS on a project-by-project basis. Valued at $12 million, this program provides grants for bilateral R&D initiatives up to 50 percent of joint project costs, to a maximum of CDN $300,000. CIIRDF is proud to manage the OICP on behalf of the Government of Ontario.

Guided by the objectives of the Ontario-Israel MoU, the OICP aims to:

Facilitate, encourage, enhance and contribute to the development of industrial and technological research and development cooperation between Ontario and Israel; and
Identify, facilitate, support and promote specific projects or partnerships between Ontarian and Israeli corporations that could lead to industrial and technological research and development cooperation.
Building on its proven approach and model of technology collaboration, CIIRDF directly supports these objectives by:

  • Brokering new bilateral relationships through technology matchmaking;
  • Facilitating and leading Partnership Development Activities (PDAs); and
  • Providing funding for Ontario-Israel R&D projects.

To date, CIIRDF has awarded OICP funding to 15 joint R&D projects in medical devices, information and communications technologies, advanced manufacturing, clean technologies and life sciences.

Over the last three years alone, CIIRDF has leveraged every dollar invested through the OICP by a factor of 6-to-1, reinforcing the value and efficiency of the R&D funding. More importantly, jointly developed products emerging from OICP-enabled technologies have already generated more than $50 million in direct economic value for Ontario companies since 2008. Collaborating companies believe they are well positioned to multiply these economic returns up to four times within the next few years. In one project alone, OICP funding increased the valuation of one Ontario firm, helping the company to attract $300 million in investment and maintain associated jobs in the province.

These initiatives will help create jobs, advance the commercialization of new products and improve existing products and services in Ontario and Israel. To date, participating Ontario and Israeli companies project more than $1 billion in revenues upon the successful completion and commercialization of technologies funded under the OICP.

Building on results achieved to date, the Government of Ontario and the OCS, together with CIIRDF, announced that Ontario and Israel will extend the Memorandum of Understanding with another $3 million each to support industry-led collaborative R&D projects. CIIRDF will continue to serve as the OICP delivery agent over the next five years, from 2015 to 2020.

On the heels of the OICP announcement from the Honourable Reza Moretti, Minister of Innovation, Government of Ontario and Avi Hasson, Former Chief Scientist, Ministry of Economy, CIIRDF launched a new Ontario-Israel Call for Proposals for joint R&D projects. The Call solicits novel, industry-led technology projects areas of shared priority including: clean technologies; life sciences and medical devices; cybersecurity; and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Reinforcing Ontario’s commitment to cultivate strong Ontario-Israel collaboration, Premier Kathleen Wynne will lead a business delegation to the Start-up Nation in spring 2016 to build on Ontario’s existing relationships, create new partnerships and promote investment in the province.

“Our government recognizes that Ontario’s capacity to compete internationally and to create the jobs of tomorrow depends on collaboration. That is why we welcome this continued partnership with Israel. Connecting companies and researchers in Ontario and Israel will help both jurisdictions become more innovative and productive in a highly competitive global economy.” The Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation

“The Ontario-Israel Collaboration Program (OICP) leads the way for bilateral technology cooperation between Ontario and Israel. Managed by CIIRDF, the OICP is a highly effective gateway that enables the Office of the Chief Scientist to connect with ideal technology partners across Ontario and facilitate co-operative R&D that benefits both jurisdictions. This co-operation is essential to address our shared innovation and economic objectives.” Avi Hasson, former Chief Scientist of Israel, Ministry of Economy, Government of Israel

Photo caption (left to right): The Honourable Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation, Government of Ontario, and Avi Hasson, former Chief Scientist of Israel, Ministry of Economy, Government of Israel announced the renewal of the Ontario-Israel Memorandum of Understanding on Industrial R&D Collaboration in May 2015 in Tel Aviv, Israel.