Navigating Collaborative Futures

Sponsored by Global Affairs Canada, the International Science and Technology Partnership (ISTP) expert panel was convened by the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) to answer the question:

In a post-COVID world, how can Canadian public, private and academic organizations evaluate and prioritize STI partnership opportunities with foreign countries to achieve key national objectives, using indicators supported by objective data where possible?

The resulting report on Navigating Collaborative Futures is the outcome.  International science, technology, innovation, and knowledge production (STIK) partnerships offer opportunities for Canada to accelerate collective solutions, meet national priorities, and build consensus within a complex and changing geopolitical context. Currently, Canada lacks a cohesive national strategy for assessing STIK partnerships.  The need for a strategic and deliberate approach to international STIK partnerships is acute. Opportunities for such partnerships are rapidly expanding, and Canada risks falling behind in an increasingly competitive global knowledge economy. Meanwhile, new scientific discoveries and emerging innovations are increasing in complexity; global challenges highlight the urgency of international cooperation and collaboration; and national interests are affecting the movement toward open science and transdisciplinary approaches.  In Navigating Collaborative Futures, the expert panel presents an approach for making decisions about international STIK partnerships. An evidence-based, data-enabled framework can help organizations articulate partnership goals; identify, evaluate, and weight appropriate indicators of partnership value; and determine whether to pursue or continue a partnership.  Navigating Collaborative Futures offers a template for nations to consider individually and collectively across a “continuum of urgencies” with science diplomacy at subnational-national-international jurisdictions globally.

Prof. Paul Arthur Berkman was honoured to serve on the CCA-ISTP expert panel.