New speakers and programme announced for international research conference in May

New speakers and programme announced for international research conference in May

Published on 10 April 2015

Our forthcoming conference on ‘Research and innovation for global challenges’, held in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 11-15 May 2015, will be one of the most international ever in its field. The ACU, along with co-organisers SARIMA, is pleased to confirm a wide-ranging programme of activities as well as a list of prestigious speakers who will share their knowledge and experience with the delegation.

Speakers include Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Rajagopala Chidambaram, Chief Scientific Adviser of India, and Dr Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Major funding bodies such as the Wellcome Trust and IDRC (Canada) will describe their priorities, as will senior figures from international research organisations such as CERN, the international Square Kilometre Array (SKF) programme, and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.

The conference will combine training and networking opportunities for university research management professionals with fresh insight from expert speakers from the wider research and innovation environment. View the full programme here.

The range of sessions will cover topics such as professionalising research management, seed funding for the gap between research and commercialisation, measuring the impact of research and performance indicators for research management, conflict of interest, incentivising research and innovation, patenting strategies, costing and pricing strategies, and developing international collaborations and how universities can support the next generation of researchers. The conference is supported by the South African National Research Foundation and the UK government, which will be promoting opportunities under the Newton Fund, established to develop new collaboration between those two countries.

Adding to the networking opportunities will be the participation of university vice-chancellors from throughout Africa, who will be reviewing the progress made towards research uptake from their institutions in a special meeting arranged by the DRUSSA programme. There will also be special sessions organised by the European Union funded CAAST-Net Plus project on advancing EU-Africa cooperation in STI (Science, Technology, and Innovation), and the Australia-Africa Universities Network (AAUN), who will both be meeting alongside the conference. View the full list of side events and workshops here.

As part of the conference, the ACU will be launching a new Member Community: the ACU Research, Knowledge and Information (RKI) Community. Open to all staff who support the research process at ACU member institutions, the Community will showcase examples of good practise and promote further debate on the challenges and opportunities in this line of work. The launch event will take place on the evening of 11 May 2015, and will be followed by a Study Tour – from 14-16 May 2015 – of the research management facilities at the three leading universities in the Gauteng area of Johannesburg: the University of Pretoria, University of Johannesburg and the University of the Witwatersrand.

Over 250 delegates have already registered for the conference, but further registrations are being accepted until early May. The event has been recognised by ATTP (Alliance of Technology Transfer Professionals) and conference delegates will qualify for 10 CE points that can be claimed towards RTTP status.