Ethics Framework for Partnerships with the Private Sector

Partnerships with a diversity of stakeholders are central to CIHR's mandate. The emphasis on the need for partnerships begins with the CIHR Act, which states that CIHR is responsible for, among other things, cooperating with "a wide range of partners from all relevant sectors". CIHR is also mandated to "enhance economic development in Canada and promote growth and job creation in key sectors of the knowledge-based economy".

To guide CIHR’s interactions with the private sector, CIHR developed the Ethics Framework for Partnerships with the Private Sector (2011, updated 2013). This document provides ethics guidance to those within CIHR who are responsible for initiating and overseeing partnership activities with the for-profit sector. While the document focuses on CIHR’s interactions with the private sector, the ethical considerations outlined in this Framework may be useful to partnership activities in other sectors, as the document clarifies CIHR’s vision of ethical partnering.

Subsequent to a multi-stakeholder workshop held in 2007, CIHR elaborated the Ethics Framework with the assistance of a Working Group (2008- 2010) composed of internal and external stakeholders representing a wide range of national and international expertise. CIHR finalized the Ethics Framework through broad consultations across its Institutes and portfolios.

The Ethics Framework is divided in two parts to address the establishment of a partnership and its management. It is built on five core concepts: Public Interest, Innovation, Right Partner, Accountability and Stewardship. Each core concept is briefly defined and followed by related ethical considerations.

The Ethics Framework is available in electronic format on request. Please contact:

Sheila Chapman
Senior Ethics Policy Advisor
Ethics Office, CIHR

For more on CIHR’s approach to partnerships and related tools, see: Partnerships.

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