NSERC, SSHRC, Ryerson presidents convene for roundtable on research opportunities between Canada and Brazil
On July 26, more than 20 officials from Ryerson University, Canadian scientific research councils and the Brazilian government came together for a joint roundtable hosted in Ryerson’s Jorgenson Hall. The event was co-hosted with the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce (BCCC).
Ryerson president Mohamed Lachemi welcomed the esteemed guests, including the presidents of both the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC).
Bala Venkatesh, CUE’s academic director, opened the roundtable with an update on the progress of the NSERC Energy Storage Technology Network, a $5-million pan-Canadian research network focused on the future of energy storage that he leads. Presentations followed from Eduardo Soriano of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication in Brazil and Dr. Ted Hewitt, president of SSHRC.
“It’s always very exciting talking with the Brazilians because they have great ideas, and in many ways are further ahead than we are,” Hewitt said during his presentation. “In areas like oceans research, agriculture and nanotechnology, there has been interaction between Canadian and Brazilian organizations. There’s a lot of activity between the countries.”
Other notable presenters included Ademar Seabra, deputy consul-general of the Consulate General of Brazil in Toronto, and Dr. Mario Pinto, president of NSERC.
“We have to increase the number of Canadians participating in international research endeavours. Like Brazil, this is a huge country, and we need young researchers to become truly global citizens,” said Pinto. “We need to make sure that science diplomacy and good global partnership will trump all geopolitical events.”
The discussion that followed was moderated by Jennifer MacInnis, senior legal counsel and senior director of applied research and commercialization at Ryerson. Topics discussed included societal barriers to the implementation of renewable energy and energy storage and the importance of international collaboration.
Kiki Cekota is a fourth-year journalism student at Ryerson University.