Thursday, March 16, 2017

Innovating for the global commons: multilateral collaboration in a polycentric world

International collaboration in science and innovation presents its own challenges. Illustration: Rawpixel

Dr. Keith Smith of the Imperial College has published a paper on international collaboration in science, technology and innovation in meeting global challenges.

The paper is called "Innovating for the global commons: multilateral collaboration in a polycentric world" and is published in the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Volume 33, Number 1, 2017.

Keith Smith argues that an effective innovation effort for ‘global challenges’ must be multilateral, because the outcomes will be globally shared, highly uncertain, and very large-scale.

He writes:
"At present we lack a framework for organizing such multilateral collaboration. Global challenges relate to the consumption of ‘common-pool’ or ‘common property’ resources.

It is often held that such resources involve a ‘tragedy of the commons’ for which the proposed solutions are usually full state control or privatization. However, the late Elinor Ostrom argued that the state/market approach to the commons is flawed conceptually and empirically.

In multiple studies she showed that resources are often managed collectively through negotiation and collaboration among ‘polycentric’ agents."

The paper aims to outline the conceptual approach, to suggest that it can be scaled up to the world level as an approach to the global challenges, and to propose an agenda for research on major innovation challenges involved.

Download: "Innovating for the global commons: multilateral collaboration in a polycentric world".

OECD is preparing a follow up to STIG

The OECD is discussing a possible follow up project to STIG and other relevant activites on global challenges in the organisation.

The Committe for Scientific and Technological Policy and the GSF  will arrange a workshop in Paris on March 22 on international cooperation in science, technology and inniovation to advance knowlege and address grand challenges.

The workshop will look at
  • Effective models for funding international partnerships in STI
  • Operationalising international co-operation in research and innovation (Public research institutions, specialised centres of excellence, global research networks and platforms)
  • Sharing information and data on research agendas