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Government of Canada & SFU Strengthen Relationships with India

June 27, 2011
Surrey, British Columbia

A $302,525 federal investment will support Simon Fraser University (SFU) in delivering the BC-India Innovation, Exchange and Mobility Initiative. The project will facilitate partnerships between the two regions that will lead to collaborative research, trade and investment activities.

Investments like this are crucial to strengthening Canada’s international linkages, promoting our educational institutions, and helping maintain British Columbia as the ideal place to invest,” said the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification (WD). “Today is an important step toward creating economic opportunities, while increasing Western Canada’s international visibility and reputation.

Over two years, SFU students will be placed within Indian organizations, Indian professionals will visit B.C. and sector-focused workshops will be hosted in both B.C. and India. The clean energy, health and life sciences, and new media/film sectors will be targeted.

Undergraduate and graduate students benefit tremendously from work terms in India. This program will elevate SFU's efforts to connect companies and organizations in India and Canada by means of exchanges as well as Indian visitors and workshops,” said SFU president Andrew Petter. “Through this funding support and that of our India Advisory Council, SFU is well-placed to play a major role in India's declared Decade of Innovation.

India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and is projected to be the world’s third largest economy by 2050. WD and SFU see this as a fitting time to undertake activities that capitalize on the emerging opportunities India presents.

With eight faculties across three campuses in Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey, Simon Fraser University currently has more than 30,000 students, 110,000 alumni, and over 900 full-time faculty members. Student-centered, research-driven, and community engaged, SFU is Canada's leading comprehensive university. In 2006, SFU was the first Canadian university to launch an India Strategy which has its secretariat at SFU Surrey and is guided by an India Advisory Council comprised of leading community and business leaders.

WD works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

For additional information, contact:

Jaime Burke
Regional Communications Manager - British Columbia
Western Economic Diversification Canada
604-666-1318

Nav Chima
Project Director, SFU BC – India Mobility Initiatives
Simon Fraser University – Surrey
Tel: 778-782-2330

WD Toll-Free Number:1-888-338-WEST (9378)
Teletypewriter (TTY): 1-877-303-3388
WD Website: www.wd-deo.gc.ca.
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