Canada and Colombia strengthen research and innovation ties

Memorandums of understanding support research collaboration and mobility

Vancouver, BC — Canadian and Colombian higher education organizations signed two important agreements today which will improve student mobility and heighten research collaboration between the two countries.

Higher education and research partnerships are a critical part of the Canada-Colombia bilateral relationship. The agreement between Universities Canada and the Asociación Colombiana de Universidades will encourage, facilitate and promote further dialogue and coordination in the areas of student mobility, research collaboration, academic partnerships and joint programming between Colombian and Canadian universities.

A second agreement between Canada’s Mitacs and Colombia’s Minciencias includes a five-year commitment to support over 60 undergraduate students to participate in Mitacs’s Globalink Research Internship program and Colombia’s Nexo Global summer research program. Through these internships and exchange opportunities, students will develop bilateral academic research networks which will serve as foundational elements for future innovation between Colombia and Canada.

This partnership is supported by CALAREO — Canadian and Latin American Research Exchange Opportunities — a five-member university network composed of Lakehead University, Vancouver Island University, Carleton University, École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), and Memorial University, and CALDO — a consortium of nine Canadian leading research universities: University of Alberta, University of Calgary, Dalhousie University, Université Laval, University of Ottawa, University of Saskatchewan, University of Waterloo, Western University, and University of Toronto.

The MOUs are the culmination of informal collaboration between the Canadian and Colombian organizations. The agreements — the first of their kind between Canada and Colombia — were signed at a virtual event today with His Excellency Marcel Lebleu, Ambassador of Canada in Colombia.


Marcel Lebleu, Ambassador, Embassy of Canada in Colombia

“Over 4,880 Colombian students went to Canada in 2019. With this agreement, Colombian undergraduate students interested in doing research in Canada now have increased opportunities. Student exchange and academic collaboration are key to enhance research and innovation between Canada and Colombia.”

John Hepburn, CEO and Scientific Director, Mitacs

“Mitacs is proud to align with Minciencias and begin a valuable partnership between Colombia and Canada to advance innovation. Higher education and research bring our two countries together. Along with Universities Canada, Mitacs is very proud to represent ‘Team Canada’ as we align with ASCUN and Minciencias who represent ‘Team Colombia’.”

Sonia Esperanza Monroy, Vice Minister of Talent and Social Appropriation of Knowledge, Minciencias

“The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia, in its commitment to promote and encourage the development of R&D and innovation activities, is delighted to sign this important alliance with Mitacs that will boost the promotion of scientific research in both countries, and the strengthening of scientific cooperation between Colombia and Canada. We are pleased to be together with ASCUN representing ‘Team Colombia,’ promoting together with Mitacs and Universities Canada the development of the capacities in science, technology, and innovation of both countries.”

Paul Davidson, President, Universities Canada

“In a world of closing borders and global anxiety, international relationships have become more important than ever. This agreement underlines Canada and Colombia’s continued commitment to collaboration and to advancing excellence in higher education, research, and innovation.”

About Mitacs

  • Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada by solving business challenges with research solutions from academic institutions.
  • Mitacs is funded by the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, the Government of British Columbia, Research Manitoba, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, Innovation PEI, the Government of Quebec, the Government of Saskatchewan and the Government of Yukon.

About Minciencias

  • The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia was created on December 5, 2019, becoming the governing body of the National System of STI of Colombia, formulating and articulating public policy for the generation of knowledge, innovation, social appropriation and competitiveness.
  • The vision of the Colombian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is to be the entity in charge of transforming Colombia into a Knowledge Society and to face the challenges of the fourth industrial revolution. It also leads the impact on the regions and promotes their sustainable development from research and innovation, through the articulation of universities, business, state and society.

About Universities Canada

  • Universities Canada is the voice of Canada’s universities at home and abroad, advancing higher education, research and innovation for the benefit of all Canadians.