In a world where the gaps between nations seem to be gradually widening, it is ever more important for the research and innovation community to recognise its important role in building bridges and collectively solving the problems that face humanity on a global scale.

In successive Oxford Summits, that international community of universities, large businesses and governments has come together to examine how we can learn from each other and build lasting collaborations that will make a difference. International co-development of science, technology, and social and cultural understanding has never been more vital.

International collaborations are higher cost and higher risk than more national, parochial work.  Similarly, building university-business collaborations takes effort and investment.  Nevertheless, we are faced by climate change, pandemics, antimicrobial resistance, and any number of threats that cannot be tackled by one nation alone. At a national and institutional level, we need funding and aligned incentives to build projects with global reach that balance the interests of different communities around the world.

The report from the latest Oxford Summit gives us fresh insights and tools to use as we set up new projects and partnerships. One area of discussion was the importance of developing clearer frameworks for translation and commercialisation of research outcomes that accelerate the use in practise of new technologies and insights. The response to the COVID-19 pandemic showed that it is possible.

The Summit’s call for increased clarity between universities, investors and businesses has been answered in part by the recent USIT Guide, a set of recommendations for the innovation sector, produced by an international group of investors and universities, that will accelerate and support the founding of a new generation of start-ups.

Moving forward

The Summit report sets an agenda for working more closely across national borders, step by step, with universities, businesses and governments working together.

You can hear Dr Clare speak as part of an expert panel discussion at the launch of the Oxford Summit report, Rising to the challenge:  Mobilising university-industry-government partnerships to lead an innovation-led recovery, taking place on Wednesday 20 September.

Sign up for the online event now.