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Science, technology and innovation policy

Improving academia-private sector interactions: lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic

 

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 16 September 2021  Virtual workshop

 

Overview

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted both the potential benefits of better interactions between academic researchers and industry and some of the challenges that need to be overcome to fully realise this potential.

Co-creation and transdisciplinary research (TDR) efforts during the crisis have enabled the effective integration of the strengths of diverse partners and resulted in the rapid development of new vaccines and therapies, health care technologies and digital tools or platforms for collecting analysing and sharing data and information. New networking models and collaborations have emerged and many of these have the potential to be further developed and applied beyond COVID-19 to address other pressing societal challenges. To achieve this at the necessary scale, there is a need to design policies, frameworks and funding models that promote multi-actor collaboration in research and innovation.

This workshop is being jointly organised by the OECD working party on Technology and Innovation Policy (TIP) and the Global Science Forum (GSF). It will build on the TIP’s extensive work on industry-science linkages, including recent works on knowledge transfer and co-creation. Ongoing TIP work looks into co-creation case studies in relation to COVID-19, with a focus on international collaborations that bring together academia, industry, civil society and different parts of government. From the GSF with its science policy perspective, it will build on recent work on Addressing societal challenges using transdisciplinary research and contribute to an ongoing project on Mobilising science in crises: lessons learned from COVID-19. Whilst the main focus is the interface between academia and industry, the role of other research partners will also be considered where appropriate.

The overall aim is to learn from the COVID-19 experience and some of the actors directly involved in co-design and TDR projects and then explore how science policy and innovation policy can come together to support science-industry collaboration for societal benefit in the future.

 

WORKSHOP AGENDA

 

DETAILED AGENDA

12h30-12h45 - Welcome and introduction

Opening of the event and introduction of the agenda by the Chair of the TIP Working Party Göran Marklund, Deputy Director General, Vinnova, Sweden and Catherine Ewart, Associate Director of International at UKRI’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), UK, from the GSF. 2 This will be followed by a brief Secretariat presentation on lessons learned from recent GSF and TIP work on science-industry collaboration. It will include a summary of ongoing TIP case study work on industryscience collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the major challenges that have emerged from these initiatives.

 

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12h45-13h45 - Panel 1: Challenges and good practices in co-creation during the COVID-19 crisis

This panel discussion explores the challenges and good practices from case examples in more depth from the perspective of practitioners who are leading projects that involve both academia and the private sector. It will focus in particular on:

1. Openness, data sharing and the use of digital tools, and

2. Aligning public good, inclusivity and commercial interest.

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14h00 -15h00 - Panel 2: Policy tools and instruments

This panel will explore the longer-term implications for science and innovation policy, taking account of the practical issues and challenges that have been identified in the first panel. 3 Key questions

  • Which instruments have proved effective in mobilising strong science-industry-civil society collaboration during the COVID-19 crisis?
  • How can we apply our learning from co-creation during the crisis beyond the present pandemic, in particular to mobilise inputs across different stakeholders to address the environmental sustainability crisis?
  • What policy actions are necessary to scale up co-creation and transdisciplinary research approaches?

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15h00-15h45 - Takeaways for GSF and TIP

Short interventions from GSF and TIP Bureau members on the following questions:

  • What are the key take away messages?
  • What are the specific implications for science policy (GSF) and innovation policy (TIP) and are there areas that would benefit from being better integrated?

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