Mr Maxime Van Cauter (Scientific Liaison Officer for Wallonia-Brussels International) and Ms Annie Le (Research & Innovation Attaché for the Government of Québec) have recently inaugurated the Science & Technology Diplomatic Circle of New York (S&TDC).
The two everlasting transatlantic partners, Wallonia-Brussels and Québec, will be co-chairing this never-seen-before-in-New York diplomatic network. The initiative is a milestone that should probably resonate with the institutions dedicated to support ‘Science Diplomacy’ endeavors, such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) as well as the European Commission.
The main goal of the S&TDC is to bring together and accelerate international collaboration in the fields of scientific research, engineering, university joint-partnerships, technology transfers and innovation. In fact, international collaboration in the above-mentioned topics is an established reality nowadays. The current COVID-19 pandemic reminds us constantly that no country or region is able to bring a comprehensive solution to a worldwide phenomenon. The global challenges that we face as a society require co-created responses and this is why cooperation in science & technology outplays the competition behaviors existing in other spheres.
The S&TDC is therefore an association of members from the diplomatic missions and international organizations located in New York City. The S&TDC will serve as a platform to spark interactions with experts, researchers, entrepreneurs, leaders and officials representing academia, research centers, advanced industries and government in and around the City of New York.
Other S&TDC’s are already in activity in Boston, Tokyo, Singapore and Shanghai. In each of these locations, we observed that the local ecosystem is very responsive and finds it adequate and insightful to meet with the S&TDC. The rationale supporting this is that the partner or local organization saves time and gain fantastic exposure by connecting with the whole Science & Technology international scene in only one meeting. From the S&TDC perspective, by engaging in common activities and projects the members expect to identify opportunities that would have been missed otherwise.
In practical terms, following a yearly programing, projects and activities will include: Science & Technology policy briefings, seminars, visits to research institutions, universities and R&D intensive companies and specific meetings to exchange best practices.
The specificity of New York also lies in its very high concentration of international organizations, which may lead to numerous synergies with the S&TDC!