Dual agreements cement UK-Canada science and innovation ties

Dual agreements cement UK-Canada science and innovation ties


  • The UK and Canada strengthen collaboration on science and innovation to unlock new breakthroughs for the public good.
  • A new agreement was reached on computing, a vital tool in the development of AI
  • UK and Canada to explore opportunities to work together and with like-minded countries on IT capabilities
  • countries to explore new shared resources to promote their joint research on AI

The UK and Canada have signed a dual set of agreements that consolidates their collaboration on science and innovation, while establishing a new agreement on AI Computing: one of the fundamental components that lies at the heart of how AI is used and developed.

Signed by Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan and Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Phillippe Champagne in Ottawa, the Computing Memorandum of Understanding It is the latest step in the two countries’ efforts to collaborate on AI Investigation and development. At its core is a commitment to explore how both countries can support researchers and industry with secure and affordable access to computing capacity, which is necessary to boost the training and use of AI systems on both sides of the pond. This includes examining opportunities for collaboration in areas of shared strategic importance, such as biomedicine, and working together and with like-minded countries on collaboration models in computing capacity.

Computing is a vital component in the development of AIenabling a wide range of tasks, from processing data to training the latest wave of AI models, making access to computing power increasingly essential. Given the rapid development of technology, access to computing power is also a vital tool for conducting cutting-edge research.

In addition to today’s agreement on computing, the UK and Canada also signed a renewed partnership to further strengthen broader collaboration in science and innovation. This agreement identifies a series of key technologies such as quantum, AI, semiconductors, biological engineering and clean energy technology, where the UK and Canada will redouble their efforts to foster research and bring innovative new solutions to market to help address shared global challenges. An additional focus on science diplomacy will allow both countries to exchange experience on issues such as international standards, governance and regulation of new technologies, helping to inform discussions with international forums such as the G7 and G20.

Academics and researchers from both countries are increasingly sharing data and developing new partnerships, and have done so since the first science and innovation partnership was agreed in 2017. Between 2020 and 2023 alone, UK Research and Innovation awarded around £ 350 million (UKRI) on collaboration programs with Canada. This includes the first industry-led partnership between two countries to develop quantum technologies and an £8 million project in partnership with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami on Arctic Ecosystems that funds research projects on climate-driven changes in Inuit Nunangat.

The historic agreements signed today come as Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan continues a three-day visit to Canada, where there have already been a series of engagements with leaders AI companies in Toronto. The Secretary of State will conclude her visit with talks in Montreal, including a meeting with Yoshua Bengio – world leader AI professor and Turing Award winner, as he leads work on the state of the science report released in November AI Security Summit.

UK Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan said:

The UK’s unique partnership with Canada in science, innovation and technology is based on a shared desire to be an active force for good on the global stage.

Today’s agreements further deepen that relationship as we commit to working side by side to address the technological challenges that define our generation.

My visit this week and the foundation we have laid will ensure that we can continue to lead the way in realizing the opportunities of new innovations in science and technology for decades to come.

Canadian Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry François-Phillipe Champagne said:

Canada and the United Kingdom have a deep relationship that fosters collaboration to help both countries prosper. Today’s Memoranda of Understanding on scientific research, innovation and AI Informatics will generate positive impacts in all fields of research and innovation, help companies accelerate to commercialization and link our leading researchers.

These agreements will strengthen our AI companies and train our researchers, as well as foster the exchange of research excellence with the Global South to develop international capabilities and address global challenges.

The UK and Canada represent a joint global power, with combined economies worth a total of £4 trillion. The renewed collaboration in science and innovation agreed today reinforces the joint commitment to work hand in hand in science, innovation and technology, and focuses on three distinct pillars. The first, focused on deep science and technology, will involve a redoubling of efforts to work closely in areas of advanced technology. R&Dparticularly in the fields of quantum, AI, semiconductors and engineering biology. Closer links will also be developed on “innovation commercialization” to support the adoption of emerging technologies and encourage research to bring commercial applications to market on both sides of the Atlantic. The renewed partnership will be marked by biennial meetings of the Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation, which will continue to identify priority areas of collaboration between the two countries.

Marking the new partnership on Compute, the UK and Canada have also set out their ambition to explore opportunities for collaboration in areas of shared importance such as climate research and biomedicine. The agreement also highlights the importance of close collaboration on sustainability in computing, especially given the significant resources required and the subsequent need to improve energy efficiency and the measures that will work to reduce carbon emissions and associated environmental impacts.


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