NYAS As a Global Advisor on Science and Technology
Academy expertise is helping regions around the world to build capacity.
Published June 02, 2009
The Academy’s reputation as a world-leading scientific event host and neutral convener of meetings among industry, academia, government, and NGOs has special value in what many are calling the “Knowledge Century,” where scientific and technical expertise will be the drivers of growth and sustainable development. People charged with building such capacity around the world are increasingly calling upon NYAS for guidance.
When the New York State Foundation for Science and Technology Innovation wanted to identify technological areas of importance to New York, it called on the Academy for help. After presenting its analysis of the state’s R&D strengths to stakeholders, the Academy helped NYSTAR identify clean technology as a growth area. Later, the Academy reconvened the group to examine specific strengths, opportunities, and models of clean-tech development. Leaders of the UK’s Global Medical Excellence Cluster also sought guidance from the Academy in breaking down the walls that prevented flow of knowledge among their research institutions.
Rick Trainor, president of King’s College, says the GMEC community of six universities, two hospitals, three corporations, and the London Development Agency wanted to promote collaboration, and was attracted to the Academy’s track record for nurturing partnerships.
“The Academy was neutral, it was interdisciplinary, and it was coming from another metropolis with a track record for bringing academic institutions there together,” Trainor says.
And when Mexico City’s Mayor decided to bridge the public and private research sectors in his city, he asked the Academy to show him how. The result was a four-day science and innovation conference in Mexico City in September, convened by the Academy and the administration of Mayor Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón. Some 300 corporate leaders, scientists, government officials, educators, investors, and students attended. With tracks examining Mexico City’s strengths in health, innovation, green energy, urban infrastructure, and science education and careers, the gathering spurred discussion about next steps toward developing a knowledge economy.
Advising groups outside of its hometown is becoming a new business for the Academy. To respond to requests from governments for guidance on policies and investments in science-and-technology-based innovation and economic development, the Academy has developed an advisory program.
“We’re leveraging our strengths as a uniquely independent organization with a broad knowledge of global science and a deep expertise in building communities that include all stakeholders in science and technology,” says Rene Baston, NYAS’ Chief Business Officer. “The goal of our ‘cluster’ activities is to develop and link knowledge centers around the world.”
What’s the value of this work to Academy members? “We’re advancing science,” says Karin Pavese, Vice President, Innovation and Sustainability. “We’re translating one of the Academy’s core competencies—to bridge disparate communities and build robust networks—to other parts of the world.”
And as scientists in Mexico City and other emerging sci-tech clusters join the Academy, all members benefit from being linked to a wider circle of scientific excellence.