British Columbia’s collaborative program with India, promoting research and development in environmental technologies and life sciences, is seeking expressions of interest from British Columbian and Indian biotechnology research organizations and companies, announced Ida Chong, Minister of Technology, Trade and Economic Development.

“In June, B.C. announced this joint initiative with India and I’m very pleased to see this program is moving forward so quickly,” said Chong, who is also the Minister responsible for the Asia-Pacific Initiative. “British Columbia is very proud of the cultural and economic ties we have already developed with India, our Asia-Pacific partner. I hope many B.C.-based companies will take advantage of our program and develop their own relationships in India.”

 British Columbia and India both committed $1 million to create the program. The objective of the program is to fund collaborative research and development projects with commercial potential between British Columbian and Indian companies.

 The joint funding also supports internships for students and researchers who will work in the other jurisdiction on research and development projects.

 International Science and Technology Partnerships Canada (ISTPCanada), a federally mandated, not-for-profit organization is overseeing the expressions of interest process and will also contribute to successful projects involving B.C. and India.

 Parties have until Oct. 24, 2008 to submit expressions of interest in the fields of convergent medical technologies, clean biotechnology, health and biopharma. All expressions must involve a Canadian and Indian company, details on how the project will benefit Canada and India and proof the party can complete the project and handle future commercialization.

 More detailed information is available on ISTPCanada’s website, www.istpcanada.ca.

 The B.C.-India partnership mirrors a bi-lateral science and technology initiative between Canada and India. While all Canadian companies and institutions are eligible to receive funding through the federal program, only B.C.-based organizations will be able to access grants from the British Columbia-specific program.

Since June 2001, British Columbia has committed over $1.7 billion to research in B.C., and has leveraged more than $1 billion in added research funding from other sources.

Provincially supported research, innovation and technology provide a long-term foundation for a strong and vibrant economy, a sustainable environment and safe, healthy communities, both within British Columbia and worldwide.