Clean Energy research: Opportunities for Canada/U.S. scientific collaboration

Published on August 8 2010

The Canadian working group on expanding clean energy R&D collaboration is currently reviewing existing Canada-U.S. partnerships to identify prospective areas for long-term clean energy R&D collaborative initiatives as part of the framework mandated by the Clean Energy Dialogue Action Plan.

Science-Metrix conducted a scientometric study on Canada/U.S. scientific collaboration in this field at the request of Environment Canada. This study represents one of the sources the working group will use to develop a more robust understanding of the scientific production and collaborative landscape. The study focuses on the field of clean energy R&D as a whole, and in three subfields of interest:

  • future generation biofuels
  • clean energy vehicles
  • green buildings

This study found that the scientific output in clean energy R&D and the three chosen subfields increased dramatically during the 2005–2009 period, internationally, in the U.S. and in Canada. Both of these countries are among the 15 leading countries in clean energy R&D.

Scientometric indicators suggest that the strengths of leading countries vary across the subfields, but in clean energy R&D overall, Sweden and Turkey stand out as having levels of scientific impact and specialization that are above the world level. Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, the U.S. and the U.K. all rank above the world average in impact but are not particularly specialized in this field.

In terms of collaboration patterns, the analysis shows that, in over 60% of cases, the leading countries examined are collaborating less than expected with one another on clean energy R&D topics, suggesting that greater collaboration should be encouraged. In clean energy R&D and in the three subfields, Canada’s strongest affinities are generally with the U.S., Turkey and China.

Download the report

Foster T., Picard-Aitken M., H. Beauchesne O., Campbell D. and Archambault E. 2010. Canada-U.S. Collaborations in Clean Energy Research: A Scientometric Analysis (2005-2009). Prepared for Environment Canada by Science-Metrix, 51 pages.

[PDF] – Study Report (English version only)