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The 2019 program will cover a diverse range of themes including:


Data governance and open data

Many states are transitioning to a new economy built on data.

These states have individuals and firms with expertise in using data to create new goods and services and they also know how to use data to solve complex problems. Others, although rich in data, do not see their citizens’ personal data or their public data as an asset. Many of these states are not well positioned to govern data in a way that encourages development.

Meanwhile, some 76 countries are developing rules and exceptions to the rules to govern cross-border data flows as part of new negotiations on e-commerce, which the WTO defines as the "production, distribution, marketing, sale or delivery of goods and services by electronic means."

The 76 countries come from every continent and represent a good mix of wealth, size and internet expertise. Most of the participating nations have e-commerce companies or companies that operate online. The main demanders of these talks are countries such as Canada, China, the US, Brazil, and the UK.

Policymakers in these nations recognize that they need economies of scale and scope for data to build a data driven sector. To achieve economies of scale and scope they need either large populations that are online or access to citizens in other countries through trade agreements. Policymakers in these countries see the negotiations as an opportunity to reconcile domestic rules governing how data is used and controlled with international trade rules governing cross-border data flows.

Yet as noted above, some WTO member states are not able to effectively participate in these negotiations. These states need capacity building assistance in the governance of data. This panel will discuss the problems of countries, particularly, developing countries in building a data driven economy and how they may better use data to achieve development outcomes.

Macro scale research transformation: How government and funders effect change

Large scale projects that succeeded in transforming research have included the Library of Congress in 1800; the Brazilian research system, LATTES; and the Large Hadron Collider. Each project had grand ambitions, and changed the structure and direction for countries, continents and entire fields of research.

A recent example of a project that has the potential for large scale transformation is Plan S. In September 2018 a group of European research funding organizations (cOAlition S) announced Plan S calling for full and immediate Open Access to research funded by grants. This plan is supported by the European Commission and the European Research Council (ERC). Recently, the Wellcome Trust and Gates Foundation announced they will align their Open Access policies with Plan S.

In this session, we will hear from people who are involved in making macro-scale decisions within funders and government, from those responsible for effecting change, and from stakeholders who have to manage the consequences.

Science analytics for portfolio management and opportunity targeting

This session will demonstrate examples of how science analytics are being used in research opportunity identification, portfolio analysis, and evaluation.

The speakers and audience will discuss potential implications for conducting impact analysis and prospective evaluation of research topics and performers.

Managing the cycle of research planning, portfolio management, and evaluation

This session will offer the views of different research sponsors on how their organizations are attempting to implement this integration, the prospects for greater coordination across these activities, and the issues that they have encountered in adopting a lifecycle approach.

Representatives of research sponsors will engage in a fireside chat, motivated by the previous presentations, to offer their reactions to the theme and engage in a conversation with the audience.

Entrepreneurialism, collaborations and economic impact

Throughout developed knowledge economies, research institutions and corporations are turning to each other to create public-private partnerships which result in benefit from shared endeavours, new insights and great efficiency. Part of this change in ethos is a new focus on translating research into everyday life: whether into clinical practise, daily routines, or effecting policy decisions.

How do we measure, reward and encourage collaborations; and how do we adapt our cultural norms to fit all partners’ ethics?

A panel of speakers from government, academic institutions and corporations will share their experiences of running joint research programmes and planning for broader impact.

A second group of speakers will reflect on the challenges of measuring broader impact, and reflecting on the cultural changes necessary for these academy/industry partnerships to succeed and catalyse future innovations.