STInano › Policy Roundtable on International Scientific Co-operation in Nanotechnology (Braga, Portugal, 22-23 June 2009)
The OECD policy roundtable comprised a one-day open conference and a one-day closed workshop for Working Party on Nanotechnology (WPN) delegates and invited experts. The event was sponsored by the Portuguese Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia and the OECD.
The conference (click here to download the agenda and presentations) clearly illustrated the differences in the experiences of countries in scientific co-operation depending on, amongst other factors, the nature of their research base, size of country, location and historical linkages. Throughout the world (e.g. countries of the European Union) researchers, organisations and countries are actively involved in many different types of co-operation. In others, international interactions are at an early stage and researchers are seeking to create awareness of their research base. Presenters included representatives from China, Korea, Brazil, NATO, Europe and North America. The participants heard about initiatives such as the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory) and IMEC.
The main purpose of the event was to identify and consider any nanotechnology-specific issues in international scientific co-operation. Key motivations for international scientific co-operation included:
Some of the motivations were bottom up, e.g.:
...whilst in other cases the mechanisms fostering international scientific co-operation were top down, e.g.:
The benefits of international scientific co-operation, as identified by speakers and participants included:
The challenges most relevant to nanotechnology were highlighted as being those related to:
The roundtable discussions began the debate at the WPN on this topic. It will continue to be developed and explored over the next few months with a report being planned for publication in 2010.