ACU and SARIMA to bring together academics and policymakers to tackle global challenges

ACU and SARIMA to bring together academics and policymakers to tackle global challenges

Published on 01 December 2014

In line with its strong commitment to the development policy agenda, the ACU, in cooperation with SARIMA, will be holding an international conference themed 'Research and innovation for global challenges' between 12-14 May 2015. The event will bring together funders, policymakers, research institutions and the private sector in an open and engaging dialogue. Delegate registration is now open, as is the call for abstracts for the event which will take place in Johannesburg, one of Africa’s most vibrant hubs for invention, progress and research.

The conference will explore the challenges universities face in maximising the impact of their research. It will also confront the challenges faced by policymakers. ‘Do our models fully reflect the nature of collaborative research between universities and external partners with each learning from the other, rather than the old-fashioned notion of a producer-consumer relationship?’ Dr John Kirkland, Deputy Secretary General of the ACU and chair at the conference, enquires.

With new sustainable development goals to be announced as the successor to the Millennium Development Goals, 2015 is a critical year for global policy on international development. A wide variety of international organisations are working tirelessly to help shape the future global development policy framework. The contribution of scientific and technological endeavour and innovation to achieving development goals is beyond question; however it seems increasingly relevant that donors and policymakers must include specific provision for these contributions in their new global development policy frameworks.

Whilst the conference aims at bridging the gap between science, technology and innovation and the development agenda by identifying and promoting good practice, policies and incentives, it will also ask the questions that could help build greater understanding between funders, policymakers, research institutions and the private sector. ‘The questions to be asked,’ according to Kirkland, ‘are wide-ranging and complex. These are not, however, issues that the higher education community should shy away from.’

Early delegate registration for the conference is now open and closes on 28 February.  For more information, please visit


This news item was updated on 19 February 2015 to reflect closure of the deadline for abstract contributions.