Thursday, September 12, 2013

Multilateral Collaboration and Innovation for the Global Commons

As a follow up to the OECD STIG project on governance of research and innovation cooperation for global challenges, Dr. Keith Smith of Imperial College has prepared a paper on multinational collaboration.

Photo: Thorsten Schmitt,

We hope the document can provide input to the important discussion on how the the worlds of policy making, science and industrial innovation can contribute in the face of urgent global challenges. The paper is part of the efforts of the informal Beyond Stig network.

Below find a summary and a link to the full document. Please feel free to add your own comments!

Multilateral collaboration and innovation for the global commons: polycentric governance in a heteropolar world

By Dr. Keith Smith

The ‘grand challenges’ posed by climate change, food security, ocean ecologies, epidemic disaease and urban environments are so large that they will soon dominate policy thinking globally.

Innovation is central to solving these problems, because they are shaped by incumbent technologies that must be changed.

Lack of framework

But innovation policy initiatives must be multilateral, because the outcomes will be globally shared, and the resources needed will be great.  We lack a framework for thinking about how such collaboration might be organised. 

Innovative solutions would in effect provide global public goods. However the usual approach to public good provision fails at the world scale because there is no supranational or hegemonic power that can undertake the roles played by states at the national level.

Monday, June 17, 2013

G8 Science Ministers Propose Collaboration on Global Challenges

The G8 ministers of science argues that the G8 countires should collaborate on science for global challenges.

This is the official summary:

"G8 science ministers met in London on 12 June 2013 with presidents of their respective national science academies, as part of the UK’s G8 Presidency. They discussed how their nations could improve the transparency, coherence and coordination of global scientific research to address global challenges and maximise the social and economic benefits of research.
The statement proposes new areas for collaboration and agreement for the G8 to consider. These include:
  • global challenges
  • global research infrastructure
  • open scientific research data
  • increasing access to the peer-reviewed, published results of scientific research" has more.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Meeting the global challenges – international funding of water activities (GEOSS, Future Earth)

Woman with Earth globe (Photo: Stock Foundry)
In this post Bente Lilja Bye presents a comparative study of international funding mechanisms through 3 or more different research systems. Note that the project is looking for an additional US partner.

By Guest Writer Bente Lilja Bye,

Why – Background

Solving the global challenges requires resources for science, technology and innovations as well as infrastructure and capacity building. An important element of this is Earth observations. 

Funding of the necessary Earth observations requires international cooperation. This particular task is included in the GEOSS work plan as ID-05 Catalyzing resources for GEOSS implementation. 

OECD adressed the same challenge in its Meeting Global Challenges through Better Governance. The issue of funding was discussed at a general level, but the (now informal) Working group finds it necessary to be more concrete in order to be able to do a more detailed analysis enabling more actionable advise.

An alliance of global programs, ICSU and IGFA/Belmont Forum and others, includes the issue of cooperation on funding in their 10-year Future Earth program.

The study is also a combined continuation of the activities in the GEO Work Plan's ID-05 Catalyzing resources for GEOSS implementation and WA-01 Integrated Water Information  (incl. Floods and Droughts).

What - Objectives (Goal – subgoal)

The main objective is to identify barriers hindering effective international funding. In particular address challenges due to the multidisciplinary character of projects on global challenges. Based on practical experiences in selected sectors/areas (water) provide advise and possible avenues leading to more effective cooperation on funding global challenges.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

An invitation to discuss how to mobilize science, technology and innovation for global challenges

How can we develop an international strategy for international collaboration in science, technology and innovation to meet global challenges?

To subscribers of the Beyond STIG mailing list and readers of the Beyond STIG blog.

Photo: Jacob Wackerhausen
I refer to the Paris workshop on science diplomacy  in February this year and the follow up to the OECD-project on the governance of international STI-collaboration for global challenges (STIG).

As many of you will know, we have set up this blog for dissemination of information on this topic. I have added two blog posts on the seminar here and here.

Now is the time to discuss future efforts in this area.

I would  like to share with you the notes Klaus Matthes,the Science Adviser to the German embassy in Paris, made from the workshop.  Not only do these notes included important points made during the presentations and the following discussions. They also includes general observation as regards the needs for future action in this field.

Klaus Matthes makes the following observation:

“Considering that science diplomacy is still a vague and nebulous policy term - especially concerning the relevant activities of the German and French government - we believe, that it might be helpful, if science itself takes it up as a research project with the goal to make concrete proposals what governments could or should undertake. My idea - according to our STIG-approach - is to ask competent scientists in interested countries to work on this in an open network, supported by OECD-CSTP or by ICSU.”

His proposal addresses two important pressing needs identified by the STIG-project: The need to identify urgent challenges requiring an STI response, and  finding ways to make this urgency felt in the global public arena.

My question to you is this: Do you think this is the right way of addressing these problems? Do you have other suggestions as regards future action in this area?

I suggest you add comments and proposals as comments to this blog post. (Click on "comments" below!).

Best regards,

Per Koch
Former Chair of the OECD STIG

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The OECD work on science, technology and innovation for global and societal challenges

The first regular session on the Paris conference on science diplomacy and health research focused on the OECD STIG project and the OECD use of STIG in its current work.

Below find the presentations of the chief scientist of STIG, Andreas Stamm and Ken Guy, the head of the Science and Technology Policy Division of the OECD.

Stamm presented the findings from the STIG project.  His presentation can be downloaded here.

Guy presented the current work of the OECD in the area of science and innovation collaboration for societal challenges. His presentation has been embedded below.

Conference on governance for international science co-operation: the example of Health research

Dr. Silke Beck from the
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research.
There was a follow up conference to the OECD STIG project on February 11 and 12 this year in Paris.

The conference, titled "Science diplomacy in action, Governance for international science co-operation:
the example of Health research", was arranged by the German and British embassies in Paris in collaboration with the French organisation AVRIST (Association de valorisation des relations internationales scientifiques et technologiques).

The agenda included many very interesting presentations from the border area between policy making and research, with a focus on international R&D collaboration in the area of health.

The participants were welcomed by Alice Dautry, Directrice générale of Institut Pasteur, who hosted the conference.  Sir Peter Ricketts, British Ambassador to France  and Susanne Wasum-Rainer, German Ambassador to France opened the event.

I have included a few of the presentations below to give you an idea of the kind of topics and arguments the conference covered.

All presentations can be found at the AVRIST site.
The conference programme is available here.

This is the Powerpoint-presentation made by Zafar Mirza,  WHO, who presented the WHO perspective on global health research:

Hugh Laverty of the Innovative Medicines Initiative discussed the challenges facing the development of  new medicines: