ACU SARIMA Conference 2015

Research and innovation for global challenges: the role of universities in strengthening development

12-14 May 2015
Indaba Hotel and Conference Centre
Johannesburg, South Africa

2015 is a critical year for global policy on international development. The contribution of scientific and technological endeavour and innovation to achieving development goals is beyond question. But donors and policymakers must include specific provision for these contributions in their new global development policy frameworks. Key research and innovation constituencies – including universities, funders, policymakers, and the private sector – must be able to respond to individual opportunities as well as addressing global challenges through their day-to-day operations. Stakeholders – including universities, the business community, and civil society – must ensure that the research agenda and its outputs are relevant, in order to use this potential to maximum benefit.

The key to achieving this is bringing together research institutions, funders, policymakers, and the private sector in an open, honest, and international dialogue. As such, the ACU, in conjunction with SARIMA and the National Research Foundation, will hold an international conference on Research and innovation for global challenges from 12-14 May 2015 in Johannesburg.

This conference will establish the practical structures, policies, and incentives needed to ensure that science, technology, and innovation play a critical role in development. It will move beyond making the case for and identifying good practice in universities and other research institutions, to examine how they can be supported in a coherent way to ensure impact. The conference aims to:

  • Emphasise the importance of a strong science base to addressing common global challenges – highlighting first-hand examples of how the relationship works in practice
  • Highlight successful policy initiatives – and their scaling up – in the promotion of science as a tool for development, and how governments and funding bodies can use their resources to maximum effect
  • Identify barriers to the uptake of science as a tool for development, and address how these can be overcome
  • Build effective collaboration between the next generation of researchers, policymakers, and other stakeholders, ensuring the sustainability of key relationships
  • Identify ways to develop capacity among the next generation of researchers, policymakers and other stakeholders

Read more about this event's speakers and programme here.