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News Releases

Ontario and Israel Partner on $20-Million Research Network

February 7, 2017

Cybersecurity in financial sector to be first area of collaboration 

TORONTO, FEBRUARY 7, 2017 - Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) have launched a new, $20-million bilateral program. Both jurisdictions have committed $5M each over 5 years to support the Ontario – Israel Research Network Program-MAGNET (OIRNP-MAGNET) for a total of $10M that will be matched by participating SMEs.

OCE will deliver OIRNP-MAGNET in Ontario on behalf of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (MRIS). This initiative supports industry-led collaboration, including partnerships comprised of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), large firms, and academic institutions to jointly develop innovative technologies.

“Ontario’s capacity to compete internationally and to create the jobs of tomorrow depends on collaboration – such as this partnership with the Israel Innovation Authority,” says Reza Moridi, Ontario’s Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “Connecting large firms and academic institutions with forward-thinking small- and medium-sized enterprises in Ontario and Israel will help both jurisdictions become more innovative and successful in a highly competitive knowledge-based global economy.”

Together, MRIS, IIA and OCE have developed this customized bilateral program to focus on addressing industry challenges identified by multi-national enterprises (MNEs) in key strategic sectors. MNEs will be matched with Ontario and Israeli SMEs and potentially academic researchers to develop solutions to identified challenges.

Cybersecurity in the financial services sector has been identified as the focus area for the inaugural call for proposals. OCE and the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA) have identified Toronto-based financial institutions that will participate in this initiative, with more details coming as projects are initiated.

“Because technology in the financial services sector evolves very rapidly, concerns about cybersecurity are top of mind for both business and consumers,” says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO. “Israel’s leadership in the cybersecurity field makes it a natural partner for Ontario in seeking to deliver state-of-the-art technology. This bilateral collaboration is an excellent opportunity to leverage expertise, resources and supply chains in creating better cybersecurity solutions for the financial services sector.”

Collaborating with MNEs will result in demand-driven, technology co-development and access to global supply chains that drive increased commercialization outcomes. 

“We are pleased to participate in this project as it allows Ontario and Israel to leverage the strength of Canada’s global financial companies in order to continue building cybersecurity expertise and capacity in both jurisdictions,” says Janet Ecker, President and CEO of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance.

Projects, which may include technology and knowledge applications, product customization, near commercialization or new market creation, are expected to contribute economically to both Ontario and Israel and to take place primarily in the two jurisdictions.

“These bilateral R&D projects will reinforce the innovation output and economic value of both Israeli and Canadian SME’s,” said Mr. Avi Hasson, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority. “The opportunity to both work closely and enjoy the economic fruits of collaboration with large Canadian financial institutions will play an instrumental role in helping these companies to increase their competitiveness and accelerate commercial success in global markets.”

For more information about the OIRNP-Magnet, please visit http://oce-ontario.org/OIRNP.

Media Contact (OCE):
Andrew Robertson
Manager, Media Relations
t: 416.861.1092 x 1092 
andrew.robertson@oce-ontario.org

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.

OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs.


Media Contact (IIA):
Les Abelson
Program Director – North America
t:+9723-5118139
Les.Abelson@innovationisrael.org.il

About the Israeli Innovation Authority

The Israel Innovation Authority is Israel's central agency to manage the country’s governmental support of the resource of innovation. As the governments' operational arm in the arena of technological innovation and R&D, the goal of the Authority is to provide professional support and infrastructure to government efforts to encourage innovation in all industry sectors, complementing the major role that Israel already plays in the global high-tech sector.

The Israel Innovation Authority has three main roles: creating infrastructure to support diverse industries, developing tools and programs that suit the needs of the industry, and budgeting and financing high-risk projects and products. In addition to these roles, the Authority serves as a central hub for knowledge and consists of six customer-oriented “Innovation Divisions,” each providing a variety of tools for each market segment and stage in the life cycle of a product: Technological Infrastructure, Advanced Manufacturing, International Collaborations, Societal Challenges, Growth and Early Stage.