Global problems call for global solutionsand innovation is no exception to this imperative, says Alan Leshner,the Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in a new essay published in LaStampa.
BILAT-USA is a new initiative launched by the American Association for Advancement of Science tofacilitate trans-Atlantic communication and collaboration betweenscientists in the United States and the European Union. This program has helped add about 260 U.S. researchers to the list of more than 7,000projects funded under the seven-year program called the 7thFramework Program. A complementary effort called Link2US will promote awareness among Europeanscientists about cooperative research funding opportunities in theUnited States. These programs are intended primarily to enable newvenues for collaboration like a recently launched electronic portal forEuropean scientists to learn about funding programs with the National Science Foundation, the National Institutesof Health and similar agencies in the U.S. responsible forallocating and overseeing research funding. The emergence ofinternational research platforms is at least partially a function of the central problems facing the planet for the 21st century – climate change, resource scarcity and sustainableeconomic growth.
While nations are at times territorial about their ownresearch programs, the trend toward a global scientific community isunmistakable. Already half of European research papers and 30 % ofAmerican research papers have international co-authors. Internationalresearch teams are becoming much more common, from one-on-onecollaborations to the huge teams involved in projects such as the LargeHadron Collider and ITER.