1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Strengthen cooperation between institutions.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Collaboratively explore joint efforts for research projects and coordinate research activities of mutual interest.
3. Progress Report:
Last year, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, (AAFC)- Research Branch (RB) merged with a sister branch, the Agri-Environmental Services Branch in the AAFC , to form a new combined branch called the Science and Technology Branch (STB). The AAFC-STB is ARS’ counterpart government research agency in Canada and one of two partners in PROCINORTE, a trilateral research coordinating group of the US, Canada and Mexico hosted by the International Institute for Cooperative Agriculture (IICA). Current task forces under PROCINORTE are animal health, plant health, genetic resources, and tropical fruits. ARS had a large number of self reported researcher-to-researcher collaborations with Canadian partners in the period from Oct 1, 2011 to Sep 30, 2012 with about 34 collaborations reported by ARS scientists with AAFC-STB researchers. The MOU officially ended on June 3, 2012 and was not renewed due to the changed structure of the AAFC-STB which overlapped with two USDA agencies and proved to be administratively complicated to implement. In May of 2013, the USDA Undersecretary for Research, Education, Extension, met with the Assistant Deputy Minister of the AAFC-STB to identify additional strategic areas of scientific collaboration to build upon our existing research relationships. The result of this meeting was an exchange of a joint report and road map which would serve as a replacement to the previous institutional MOU.