International collaboration

Without effective international collaboration we would have limited access to breakthrough scientific knowledge generated by researchers in other countries; the quality of the scientific knowledge generated locally would decline and; our industries would be unable to obtain innovative technological information and knowledge needed to maintain their competitive edge. The future of our health system depends on having a critical mass of health scientists with the international knowledge and intercultural skills necessary to meet globalization’s challenges.

In November 2006, Canada's federal government released Advantage Canada, an economic plan to make Canada a world leader for current and future generations. Advantage Canada is based on the premise that Canada already has tremendous strengths - including the drive and ingenuity of our people, the relative strength of our fiscal position, and our strong research base. It also recognizes that Canada can and must do more to turn our ideas into innovations that provide solutions to environmental, health, and other important social challenges, and to improve our economic competitiveness.

The science and technology (S&T) strategy - Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage - is the government's plan to achieve these goals. It sets out a comprehensive, multi-year science and technology agenda.

CIHR is committed to ensuring that the key actors that fuel competitiveness and innovation are more internationally connected, by offering opportunities for international training and collaborative research (funding opportunities). CIHR is well linked to the priorities of the government.

CIHR's Framework for International Relations and Cooperation

From its inception CIHR has been active internationally. Institutes and Branches collaborate proactively with many non-Canadian organizations. Our international work has led to cutting-edge science and contributed to the health of Canadians and people throughout the world. Our approach recognizes the importance of international engagement to continuing scientific excellence and to CIHR's success in achieving its mandate.

CIHR has developed a Framework for International Relations and Cooperation to provide coherence and direction for planning CIHR's international relations. The goal of this framework is to help guide CIHR to ensure we choose wisely among increasing opportunities for international collaboration, and thus are as effective as possible in our international work. We will update and modify the framework in light of CIHR's experiences, Canadian government priorities and the changing international scene.


CIHR has five strategic priorities for its international work:

  1. Research - Priority A: Broker and stimulate productive and mutually beneficial health-research collaborations among Canadian researchers, institutions and firms and their international colleagues and counterparts organizations. The focus of these collaborations must be guided by Institute and CIHR-wide priorities.

    Research - Priority B: Contribute to and support CIHR's international involvement in specific research subjects.

  2. Talent: Build programs for trainees and established health researchers to ensure Canada contributes to the development of health-research capacity both internationally and at home so scientists are internationally connected and competitive.

  3. Global Health: Address internationally recognized priorities in global health research.

  4. Safety and Security: Develop research initiatives to address emerging health threats to Canada and the global community.

  5. Organizational Best Practices: Lead the international exchange of best practices regarding health-research policies and management.

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