Through researcher-to-researcher links, institutional agreements, and research contract work with firms and agencies, uOttawa benefits from a vast number of well-established partnerships around the world. Moving forward, the Office of International Research will continue to develop relationships with exceptional partners and support the international objectives of uOttawa’s research community.
The University has multiple ties with German Institutions ranging from individual collaborations between researchers to major institutional initiatives and partnerships. Here are a few examples of recent accomplishments.
On May 2 and 3, the University of Ottawa hosted a series of events to highlight the visit of Professor Holger Braunschweig, Chair of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Würzburg, Germany, and winner of the prestigious Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize. As winner of this prize, the highest honour awarded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), Professor Braunschweig is invited to present his research internationally.
Professor Braunschweig’s activities on campus began early on May 2 with presentations by uOttawa doctoral students from seven different chemistry research groups. In the afternoon, he took part in a high-level, international scientific conference that was organised concurrently by the uOttawa Center for Advanced Materials Research.
To conclude the conference and initiate the Leibniz Lecture, Sylvain Charbonneau, Associate Vice President, Research, welcomed the audience members and greeted Elisabeth Hornung, First Secretary of the German Embassy, who described the many beneficial ties that link uOttawa and German institutions, as well as the importance of Canadian-German collaboration in the field of science. Annette Doll-Sellen, director of DFG offices in New York, spoke about the history and importance of the Leibniz Prize and introduced Professor Braunschweig, who delivered his lecture entitled “Turning boron chemistry on its head: The unusual chemistry of boron in low oxidation states.” The audience members were impressed by the scientific originality of Dr. Braunschweig’s research, and the high profile of modern boron chemistry at the University of Würzburg, which recently founded an institute that focuses on sustainable chemistry and boron catalysis.
On April 11, 2017, the Office of the Vice-President, Research hosted a lively Science and Technology networking event at the Alex Trebek Alumni Hall. The well-attended evening featured representatives from the European Union and from the embassies of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Switzerland and the U.K., who presented posters about their countries’ science and research priorities.
Nearly 100 uOttawa researchers, staff members and senior officials took part in the event to discuss the potential for international scientific partnerships and related funding opportunities provided by international funding agencies.
Mona Nemer, uOttawa’s Vice-President, Research, welcomed the attendees and highlighted the importance of the University of Ottawa’s close relationships with embassy representatives. She and uOttawa President Jacques Frémont made the most of this opportunity to network with members of these diplomatic circles.
Given the many promising contacts made over wine and cheese during the course of the evening, and the positive feedback received from all participants, this event may become a regular occurrence.
On May 5, 2016 the president of the German Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation, Dr. Helmut Schwarz, visited the University of Ottawa. Dr. Schwarz, a chemist by training, gave a seminar at the Department of Chemistry. He also gave a talk about German-Canadian research relations, followed by remarks from Professor Boyd, a uOttawa Humboldt Awardee. The Foundation offers a multitude of programs for researchers at all stages of their career, from the postdoctoral fellow to the internationally recognised cutting-edge researcher. Every year the Foundation grants more than 700 research fellowships and awards, primarily to academics in the natural sciences and in the humanities. Fellowships and awards from the Foundation are considered to be among the most prestigious and generous awards in Germany.
The University of Ottawa and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light in Erlangen have established a strong research partnership through international workshops and collaborative research projects. To formalize the partnership, the two institutions signed an agreement in 2012 to collaborate on research in photonics, nonlinear optics, and quantum optics. Based on this agreement, the Max Planck–University of Ottawa Centre for Extreme and Quantum Photonics was established in May 2015. The unveiling ceremony took place on April 13, 2016 in the presence of the president of the Max Planck Society, Dr. Martin Stratmann. The president took the opportunity to meet with Allan Rock and with high-level representatives from Canadian Science and Innovation Organizations during a luncheon organized by the Office of the Vice-President, Research. He also met with a group of uOttawa Faculty members involved in research with various Max Planck Institutions in Germany. With a yearly budget of 1.7 billion euros, the MPS is internationally recognized for its cutting-edge research and is with 18 laureates one of only two non-US institutions in an elite Top 10 that produces Nobel Prize winners.
Following a 2012 meeting between the U15 presidents and their German counterparts in Berlin, President Allan Rock agreed to spearhead the Canada–Germany Initiative on Governance, Citizenship and Democracy in collaboration with Bielefeld University. In 2013, an initial exploratory workshop in Bielefeld led to a second workshop, which took place in 2015 at the University of Ottawa during the annual Congress of the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. This workshop was supported by the Office of the Vice-President, Research, as well as the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD). One of the German co-chairs of the workshop was invited to give a Big Thinking Lecture at the Congress, entitled “Integration and citizenship in North America and Europe: Different paths, similar outcomes?”
The University of Ottawa, the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the German Embassy invited Rainer Forst, recipient of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize and professor of political theory and philosophy at Goethe University, Frankfurt, to give a lecture entitled “Toleration and Democracy.” The Leibniz Prize is Germany’s most prestigious award for research excellence. The University of Ottawa and the DFG continue to collaborate to sponsor a series of Leibniz Lectures on our campus.
The University has a wide variety of relationships with Chinese research institutions. Over the past few years, the Office of Vice-President, Research has established contacts with universities, municipal governments and investors. Some of our key partners in China are:
The University of Ottawa has a strong partnership with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), with which we signed an agreement in 2005. This agreement rapidly expanded from obstetrics to systems biology, photonics, fish biology, social sciences, and many other key areas of knowledge.
In September 2015, on the tenth anniversary of the partnership, uOttawa and CAS signed four new Memoranda of Understanding, and also inaugurated a joint hydrobiology lab and a joint research centre. On this occasion, the University granted Bai Chunli, President of the Academy, an honorary doctorate in recognition of his distinguished career.
The University of Ottawa and Central China Normal University (also known as Huazhong Normal University) have developed a strong partnership in chemistry, and a Memorandum of Understanding, signed in 2014, formalized the existing research collaborations in organic chemistry and catalysis. This agreement guarantees researcher mobility, helps obtain external funding, and ensures that both institutions will hold annual symposia in alternate years. It also establishes the CCNU–uOttawa Joint Research Centre on Synthesis and Catalysis, with the aim of facilitating research into visible light photoredox catalysis and animation reactions.
The University has a history of developing and maintaining partnerships with French institutions, resulting in fruitful ties with French universities and research institutes. The Office of the Vice-President, Research also works closely with the French embassy to jointly administer the France Canada Research Fund. Here are some of our strategic partnerships with France.
The Univerisity of Ottawa In 2014, the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), the University of Lyon and the École normale supérieure de Lyon signed an agreement to establish the International Associated Laboratory LIA FUN-CAT—Fundamental catalysis for green chemistry.
Thanks to this innovative partnership, projects are conducted by pooling together human and material resources. The agreement also supports graduate student exchanges and joint publications.
In 2014, the University of Ottawa and the University of Lyon signed a general Memorandum of Understanding to create an international university alliance. The two universities develop joint research projects involving national institutions, public or private enterprises, and other academic partners. The agreement supports several initiatives, including the Summer Undergraduate International Research Internships, which allow uOttawa students to join research laboratories at UdeL. A further example of this partnership is the Bromley Lecture series, which began in 2005 as collaboration between the University of Ottawa and George Washington University, and now includes also students from the Univerisity of Lyon to join their fellow students from uOttawa and George Washington University in meeting senior science and technology policy advisors from around the world.
In 2014, uOttawa and the University Paris-Descartes renewed their initial 2009 agreement, formalizing their collaborative research and postdoctoral training in neuroscience. This agreement brings together teams from uOttawa’s Brain and Mind Research Institute and Paris-Descartes’ Institut des Neurosciences et de la Cognition. The collaboration seeks to advance scientific objectives and share state-of-the-art technology platforms. A graduate training program, which includes an exchange of students and postdoctoral fellows, gives researchers from each university the opportunity to learn new skills.
The University has close ties with many strategic partners in Taiwan. These partnerships keep growing and now cover all areas of knowlege.
Since 2011, an agreement allowed partnerships in medicine and electrical engineering to take off. In medicine, research collaboration led to important progress in cancer and liver disease research. In engineering, collaborations propelled research in photonics and in medical devices. Moreover, every summer since 2016, a group of uOttawa students participated in research internships in NCKU.
The Ministry of Science and Technology in Taipei has been a collaborator to the University of Ottawa for many years. The Ministry recognizes four uOttawa units as Centers of Excellence, a recognition which allowed Taiwanese research teams in photonics and reproductive health to spend extended time at the uOttawa with support of the Dragon Gate program. Collaboration in photonics and health continues to grow, with research and training initiatives in development.
The Ministry of Education in Taipei offered its financial support to uOttawa’s Research Chair in Taiwan Studies. Hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences and jointly held by professors Scott Simon and André Laliberté, this Chair organizes scientific events and supports researcher and student mobility between uOttawa and Taiwan. It reinforced links built over 18 years with National Dong Hwa University in Indigenous Studies and National Chengchi University in political science.
uOttawa researchers have long been working with their colleagues from Academia Sinica, a prominent research agency active in all fields of knowledge. In order to strengthen this partnership, uOttawa and Academia Sinica agreed in June 2019 to launch a joint funding program in support of research. This program will support collaborations in all disciplines.
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