A Triangle of Services

"Canada and Germany stand for outstanding success in science, research, and development. Researchers and business representatives from both countries can consider the GCCIR a platform for reaching North America or the European Union."

The founder and President of the initiative is Bernd Reuscher, Honorary Consul Emeritus for the Federal Republic of Germany in Canada. He sets out the future of the GCCIR in our interview: 

"Top scientific and business achievements from both countries need support through research partnerships or the introduction of new companies to the markets, in order to bring new products or services to the people. The Centre provides this kind of competent support."

What does the GCCIR offer?

We offer a "triangle" of services. First, the GCCIR acts as an intermediary for all information required for the development of research and business relations. Second, the Centre acts as a coordinator for specific project steps or tasks. This may include, for example, operative support for language examinations on behalf of the Goethe-Institut. Third, the GCCIR takes on the role of a partner that represents products, services, and results from German educational and research institutions, as well as German companies in Canada, just as it will promote new ideas and concepts from Canadian companies and universities in Germany.

Why did you establish the Centre?

For decades, Canada and Germany have been close partners. There has been dialogue in both directions. From our point of view, however, the partnership lacked highlights and visible focus. This changed when the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres became engaged in Canada and together with the University of Alberta established a major research collaboration on energy and the environment, the Helmholtz-Alberta Initiative (HAI). The science alliance was initiated in September 2009 through a Memorandum of Understanding, which was renewed in September 2014 for another 5 years. The memorandum sets out arrangements for the purpose of joint development, intensification of international cooperation and execution of collaborative scientific research projects. An additional goal is to support graduate education and exchange amongst the next generation of scientists in both countries. Key areas of research are renewable energy sources, wastewater management, fossil fuels upgrading, green house gas abatements and land reclamation. More recently, HAI has also added further areas of focus in infectious diseases research, neurodegenerative diseases, remote sensing and resource technologies. The participants view this initiative as a prime example of the transnational pooling of resources in order to encourage research in fields that will be decisive in the future. The GCCIR has taken its inspiration from this exemplary project and supports initiatives like HAI.

How can the success of the GCCIR be measured?

That depends on the interests of and tasks set by our customers, of course. The motto is generally “Time to Market”, so we must work on concrete requests as quickly as possible.

We think that our success should be measured by the number and quality of partnerships between research and business, or even between the research partnerships on both sides that we have helped establish.

Does this also mean regular evaluation of work?

Yes, the GCCIR welcomes constant feedback from its partners. The added value of our work becomes measurable by how we are viewed by our customers in science and business. The decisive criteria here are: the number of partnerships that are brokered, the individual contacts are created, and the financial scale of the Centre, such as the public grants and private donations as well as service fees, which will have been received from companies and government bodies. To conclude, a great part of our right to exist lies in how quickly we help initiate German-Canadian partnerships and how many of these partnerships we help to create.