Growing Asia-Pacific research strength: How will Canada respond?
Chinese scientists will surpass U.S.-based scientists in research publication output by 2013, and dramatic developments in the Asia-Pacific region are changing the dynamic of science around the globe, a new report says. Written by three science and academic leaders from the United States, Canada and Singapore (including University of British Columbia President Stephen J. Toope), the report says it is vital to improve Asia-Pacific science collaboration.
The authors propose several strategies, including promoting researcher-to-researcher linkages, sharing curricula, creating incentives for university researchers to engage in productive international collaborations, building “innovation ecosystems,” and enabling greater talent mobility among graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and established researchers.
“More flexible visa arrangements, for example, similar to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation business travel card which allows for pre-cleared multiple entry for frequent business travelers within the APEC region, would go a long way to facilitating mobility among researchers in the region,” says Prof. Toope.
An “innovation ecosystem” consisting of researchers, entrepreneurs, investors and industry partners, who promote a free flow of people, ideas and experiences across institutions and sectors, will also drive sustainable innovation, the authors say.
“One of the least efficient aspects of global university culture is the constant reinvention of curriculum, and international collaboration can help address this issue, as well as bringing together complimentary expertise to achieve higher-impact science research,” Toope adds. “Academic leaders must consider investing collectively in curricula that could be shared regionally and reducing the duplication of research equipment and expertise in different localities.”