Reaching across borders to strengthen science in Canada and around the world

News release

Minister Duncan meets with science and research leaders in England and Scotland

June 28, 2018 – Edinburgh, Scotland

Strong scientific collaboration leads to discoveries and innovations that help solve global challenges and create well-paying jobs for the middle class. The governments of Canada and the United Kingdom have a long history of collaboration, and nowhere is this stronger or more important than in science and research.

The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities, is in London and Edinburgh this week to build on and strengthen Canada’s research and innovation relationship with the United Kingdom.

Minister Duncan met her U.K. counterpart Sam Gyimah, the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, to promote Canada as a top choice for international science and research collaboration opportunities.

She discussed best practices to strengthen coordination in research in her meetings with UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and with Sir Paul Nurse, Director and CEO of the Francis Crick Institute, who formerly led a major review of government-funded science in his country.

She also met with Dr. Patrick Vallance, the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser, to learn more about Britain’s network of departmental scientific advisers.

In advance of consultations that will take place over the summer to improve equity, diversity and inclusion in Canada’s research community, the Minister will meet with researchers and leaders in the science community on Friday at the University of Edinburgh to learn about implementing the U.K.’s Athena SWAN Charter. The meetings are expected to provide important insights into how the SWAN Charter, which seeks to advance and promote the careers of women in science, engineering, technology and mathematics, could be adapted for a “made-in Canada” approach.

The Minister will also attend a pre–Canada Day celebration at Canada House in Trafalgar Square, London, today.

Building a strong science community, both within Canada and abroad, is a key priority for our government. A strong science community helps drive innovation, job creation and a strong economy.


“I take great pride in Canada’s long history of collaboration in science and research with the United Kingdom. This week’s meetings further strengthened our partnership with the U.K., helping to build both nations’ skills and grow our economies. When we reach across borders, we expand our capacity to discover what we can’t even imagine yet.”

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Quick facts

  • Canada and the United Kingdom have strong science partnerships in the areas of health and life sciences, clean energy and environment, science and innovation policy, polar science and advanced manufacturing.

  • Budget 2018 announced that the Government of Canada would introduce the Athena SWAN Charter in Canada to help further Canada’s goals of addressing gender equality in our laboratories and classrooms. The SWAN Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognize commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine.

  • Based in London, England, the Francis Crick Institute is a biomedical discovery institute dedicated to understanding the fundamental biology underlying health and disease.


For Canadian science news on social media, follow @CDNScience: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook
Follow Innovation, Science and Economic Development on Twitter: @ISED_CA

Ann Marie Paquet
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Science

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

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