Representatives from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and Ministry of Economic Affairs responsible for EUREKA, Eurostars and Horizon2020 went to Canada the week of October 26 to explore ways to expand collaboration in areas of mutual interest. The program was organized by the Dutch Embassy and Consulates and the Canadian EUREKA Office at the National Research Council (NRC), and involved stops in Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa and Vancouver for meetings and networking events with federal and provincial governments, research organizations, universities and colleges, ICT incubators and accelerators and private firms. It established key points of contact to pursue partnering in a number of areas – notably in ICT, sustainable development, life sciences and student exchange programs – while helping to identify viable mechanisms and respective funding to bring such opportunities to fruition.
Canada and the Netherlands enjoy longstanding economic and historical relations. The Netherlands rank as the second largest source of foreign direct investment in Canada, and two-way trade is valued at over $8 billion. Under FP7, Canada collaborated with Dutch partners on ninety projects valued at € 6.1 million, and twenty projects are currently progressing under Horizon2020. The historical bond was forged in WWII when Her Royal Highness Princess Juliana and her family lived in Canada (Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa) during much of the occupation, 2015 marking the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Netherlands by the Canadian forces and the allies. There are more than one million Canadians of Dutch descent, one of the largest minority groups in Canada.