10/29/2012 11:29 EDT | Updated 12/29/2012 05:12 EST

Canada, Israel Launch Joint Science And Technology Fund

Prime Minister Stephen Harper walks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they make their way to a press conference following their meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, March 2, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick)

TORONTO - The federal government is creating a joint fund with Israel to finance energy science and technology projects.

Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver and Israeli Energy Minister Uzi Landau say the fund will promote co-operation in advancing shared energy interests.

Canada is contributing $5 million over the next three years to support the fund.

Projects financed by the fund will mainly involve private industry, although they may also include academic partners.

The money will support scientific research partnerships looking into innovative ways to develop unconventional oil and gas resources, as well as other energy sources of interest to both countries.

Natural Resources will work with the existing Canada–Israel Industrial Research and Development Foundation, to lay out the scope of the new technology fund.

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