26 February 2020
Message from the CIIRDF Board Chair
OTTAWA, Ontario and TEL AVIV, Israel – Aharon Aharon, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Canada Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (CIIRDF) and Chief Executive Officer of the Israel Innovation Authority, announced today that CIIRDF is restructuring its current operations in order to renew the delivery of its mandate. CIIRDF anticipates resuming full operation in the fall of 2020. In the interim, the Israel Innovation Authority is consulting with Global Affairs Canada to ensure that the renewed organization is aligned with the goals of the Canadian International Innovation Program (CIIP) for Israel. This is a great opportunity to strengthen the existing partnership between Global Affairs Canada and the Israel Innovation Authority and to build on Canada and Israel’s bilateral innovation relationship.
Reflecting the maturing science, technology and innovation ecosystem between Canada and Israel, the CIIRDF Board of Directors is working to re-constitute CIIRDF in 2020 with the necessary resources to build on achievements over the years since it was established in 1994. The modified CIIRDF would operate in close collaboration with the respective innovation agencies and programs in both countries building on their capacities and expertise. Once the preparatory work and budgeting are completed, CIIRDF will once again renew its important and productive role with a strengthened governance model and sustainable financial base.
Over the past 25 years, CIIRDF has connected almost a thousand Israeli and Canadian tech-based companies, evaluated more than 400 joint R&D proposals and funded 25 per cent of these, resulting in commercial value estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Moreover, it has leveraged its unique bilateral platform to engage sector specific and regional cooperation. Over the past years, CIIRDF has also launched targeted programs in the energy sector and, most recently in cyber security.
During the last meeting of the CIIRDF Board of Directors, Aharon emphasized the outstanding contribution of Dr. Henri Rothschild, CIIRDF’s 25-year President, who will step down as CIIRDF concludes this phase, leaving an impressive legacy. In paying tribute to the contribution of Dr. Rothschild, Aharon stated:
“Building on his many accomplishments as the architect, founder and creator of CIIRDF, Dr. Henri Rothschild is the ultimate pioneer in Israel-Canada innovation, science and technology collaboration. He charted a bold path that enabled the countries to collaborate in new ways, catalyzing productive industry-led cooperation and economic impact for a quarter of a century.”