Meeting Global Challenges through Better Governance

Meeting Global Challenges through Better Governance

International Co-operation in Science, Technology and Innovation You do not have access to this content

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Auteur(s):
OCDE
Date de publication :
15 juin 2012
Pages :
244
ISBN :
9789264178700 (PDF) ; 9789264178694 (imprimé)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264178700-en

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In recent years, the need to address social and environmental challenges has grown in urgency. Climate change, global health, food security and many other global challenges cross national borders and affect a wide range of actors. Yet, in most cases, single governments cannot provide effective solutions. Global challenges call for co-operation on a global scale to build capacity in science, technology and innovation (STI) at both national and international levels. How can international co-operation in STI be scaled up and its scope broadened? How do different modes of governance of international co-operation in STI function and which modes lead to effective and efficient collaboration?

Based on case studies, this book presents lessons and good practices on a range of governance mechanisms used for international co-operation in STI to address global challenges. The studies cover organisations that address global challenges including agriculture, food security, health, energy and climate change as well as organisations that bring together various types of actors. It takes a first step towards understanding the complexity of governance of international STI collaboration and provides the basis for future research.   

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    Foreword

    In recent years, the need to address social and environmental challenges has grown in urgency. Climate change, global health, food security and many other global challenges cross national borders and affect a wide range of actors. Yet, in most cases, single governments cannot provide effective solutions. Global challenges call for co-operation on a global scale to build capacity in science, technology and innovation (STI) at both national and international levels. How can international co-operation in STI be scaled up and its scope broadened? How do different modes of governance of international cooperation in STI function and which modes lead to effective and efficient collaboration?

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    Acronyms
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    Executive summary
    The world has always faced immense challenges. Food crises have repeatedly led, and still lead, to hunger and emigration. Disease has often ravaged the world’s populations, from the Black Death in the 14th century to the "Spanish flu" pandemic that again killed millions in the early 20th century. Atmospheric pollution resulted in acid rain, which severely damaged forested areas and surface water, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) significantly weakened the planet’s protective ozone layer.
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    Synthèse
    De tous temps, notre planète a dû faire face à d’immenses fléaux. Des crises alimentaires répétées ont entraîné et continuent d’entraîner la faim et l’émigration. Des épidémies ont ravagé les populations à maintes reprises – la Peste Noire au quatorzième siècle, ou la « grippe espagnole » au début du 20e, qui a également fait des millions de morts. Des pluies acides provoquées par la pollution atmosphérique ont dégradé les forêts et les eaux de ruissellement ; les chlorofluorocarbones (CFC) ont détérioré la couche d’ozone qui protège la planète.
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    Addressing global challenges through collaboration in science, technology and innovation
    This chapter discusses international co-operation in science, technology and innovation (STI) as a way to meet a number of global challenges. For some fields, it points to the need for scientific research to make policy makers more aware of links between human action and global change. It also addresses the need for technology development and broad-based implementation of technological, organisational and social innovations. It argues that, to this end, international co-operation in STI has to be scaled up and its scope broadened. Suitable modes of governance have to be developed to reap the benefits of international co-operation while minimising transaction costs and risks. The chapter concludes with a brief description of the case studies that constitute the bulk of the volume.
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    The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
    The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is a 40-yearold strategic partnership that supports a network of 15 international agricultural research centres working for the eradication of hunger and poverty at the global level. Lessons from its recent reform encompass the adjustment of its organisational structure (separating "doers" and "funders"), shifting from an institutional to a programmatic approach, consultation with stakeholders to discuss long-term strategy and research priorities, the importance of a broad partnership involving local and emerging research organisations, and management of the process of change.
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    The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and global health issues
    Through its Global Health Program the Gates Foundation quickly established itself as a leading actor in the global health field. It is known for its focus on technological progress and particularly for its commitment to develop new vaccines. This case study looks at how the Gates Foundation seeks to achieve these goals and examines its governance mechanisms. A number of examples serve to illustrate how the foundation operates and relates to its grantees. Finally, this chapter notes some strengths and weaknesses of the foundation’s strategies.
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    The Group on Earth Observations
    The Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is an intergovernmental entity focused on coordinating and integrating global activities related to the production and dissemination of Earth observations to meet global challenges such as climate change, agriculture and health. It aims to develop the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) within ten years. This case study discusses its approach to achieving this goal. It describes its governance model and examines the strengths and weaknesses of its different components.
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    The International Atomic Energy Agency
    Since its establishment in 1957 the broad mandate of the IAEA has concerned the contribution of nuclear technologies to sustainable development throughout the world and the verification of their peaceful use. This case study focuses on two IAEA programmes directly related to international co-operation on science, technology and innovation and the deployment of new knowledge and innovations. The IAEA combines joint research, knowledge exchange, technical co-operation and capacity building to address global challenges through the development and implementation of sustainable solutions. In the absence of an implementing structure at the country level it has built partnerships with member country organisations or countries belonging to the United Nations.
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    The Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research
    This case study discusses a regional organisation that deals with the impact of global change in a specific part of the world. The Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research (IAI) is a regional intergovernmental organisation that is successfully funding and supporting networks of collaborative research while building capacity in the lessdeveloped countries of Latin America. With rather limited financial resources, IAI successfully catalyses collaboration in science, technology and innovation in various fields related to global change. An important challenge is the lack of strong buy-in from some members. This affects funding as well as the organisation’s science-policy interaction.
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    International Energy Agency Implementing Agreements
    The International Energy Agency fosters multilateral research collaboration on energyrelated issues in a number of ways. Multilateral technology initiatives called implementing agreements are a key aspect of this collaboration. Implementing agreements include IEA member and non-member countries, as well as industry, international organisations and non-governmental organisations. They pursue a broad range of research topics and are financially independent from the IEA Secretariat. They share costs and tasks and are mostly collaborations among actors of equal or nearly equal capacities. A few focus on scaling up capacities in less developed countries.
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    European Joint Programming Initiatives
    Europe is one of the world’s science, technology and innovation (STI) hubs, but in the European Union some 85% of all public spending on research and development (R&D) is still at the national level. This has recently been identified as a major reason for the inefficiencies of the European research and innovation system. Joint programming initiatives (JPIs) are being established by European countries to introduce a new means of aligning national R&D undertakings. This case study provides an introduction to the JPI approach as such and a more detailed account of the JPI on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE). Although the JPI process is still very young, some lessons for international STI governance can already be drawn.
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    Improving science, technology and innovation governance to meet global challenges
    This chapter reviews the literature on five dimensions of international science, technology and innovation (STI) governance: i) priority setting, ii) funding and spending arrangements, iii) intellectual property, iv) putting STI into practice and v) capacity building. It is supported by the case studies presented in the preceding chapters. Finally, it presents preliminary steps towards governance options and some paths for further research.
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    Effective international science, technology and innovation collaboration
    The aim of this chapter is to glean useful lessons from the findings of the preceding chapters for effective and efficient governance structures in international science, technology and innovation (STI) collaboration to meet global challenges. Lessons are presented for each of the five governance dimensions: priority setting, funding and spending, knowledge sharing and intellectual property, putting STI into practice, and capacity building for research and innovation. Cross-case analysis draws lessons in each of these dimensions and offers initial conclusions on effective modes of governance in a variety of circumstances. In conclusion, the chapter notes progress made and new challenges.
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    Mini Case Study
    Approximately 100 new conventional large-scale power stations are currently being constructed around the world each year. Carbon capture and storage provides a solution for existing fossil fuel plants, as well as plants that will be built in the coming years. The technology involves capturing CO² that would otherwise be emitted to the atmosphere, compressing it, transporting it to a suitable site and injecting it into deep geological formations where it can be safely stored.
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    Mini case study
    In the late 1980s, the Human Genome Project was being established in the United States and Europe. For the model organism genome project, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) selected E. coli, yeast, and C. elegans (a worm), but decided not to include a plant. However, the National Science Foundation (NSF) recognised the importance of a plant genome project, and held a workshop attended by NIH, the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and NSF programme officials as well as plant science researchers from universities and private industry. The workshop participants recommended the establishment of an international plant genome project using Arabidopsis as the model system. A series of workshops were held to develop an international Arabidopsis genome project.
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