Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird will visit Israel next week, and take part along with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman in the announcement of the winners of the 2014 Grand Challenges Israel grants.

 Canadian FM Baird to visit Israel

 

Copyright: GPO/Mark Neiman

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird will visit Israel next week, and take part along with Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman in the announcement of the winners of the 2014 Grand Challenges Israel grants.

The visit of Foreign Minister Baird is an important event in the relations between Israel and Canada, which is today one of the most supportive of Israel in the international arena. It marks a year since the visit of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in January 2014 and the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding formalizing the Canada-Israel strategic partnership by the respective foreign ministers.

During his visit, FM Baird will meet with Israeli leaders and discuss cooperation, both on the bilateral and international levels.

The two foreign ministers will also sign several memorandums and declarations, among them a declaration of friendship and solidarity between the two states, as well as memorandums of understanding on diplomatic cooperation between the two foreign ministries, cooperation in public diplomacy, cooperation in international development, and a statement on the promotion of trade.

This is the first year of the Grand Challenges Israel fund, sponsored jointly by MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation at the Foreign Ministry and the Chief Scientist of the Economy Ministry. Grants of up to NIS 500,000 will be awarded to ten Israeli entrepreneurs who developed technologies for the benefit of the developing world.

The fund was inspired by Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) which has operated since May 2010. It is part of Israel’s contribution to the world struggle to meet global challenges, and strives to harness Israel’s innovativeness and entrepreneuship for the good of the developing world, introducing Israeli technologies to this new, different and important market.

Grand Challenges Israel focuses on innovation in the the areas of world health and food security, among them vaccines, improving access to health services, sanitation, fighting disease, health care for mothers and infants, mental health, sewage treatment, advanced agriculture, irrigation in desert conditions, medical devices and more. In many cases, these developments also have a huge commercial potential in developed countries and represent a real opportunity for Israeli companies.

The announcement of the grant recipients will be made by foreign ministers Liberman and Baird, with the participation of Chief Scientist Avi Hasson, Head of MASHAV Amb. Gil Haskel, and Head of Grand Challenges Canada, Mr. Peter Singer.