Open access and new kind of partnerships are ways to develop science all over the world.
After having observed that the world needs that scientific capacity of countries from the Global South must be improved, the authors of the report The Future is Now propose some ways to achieve this aim.
First, they promote, once again, open access. All knowledge relative to SDGs achievement should be gathered in open access platforms. And that will need specific programmes and funding.
Existing knowledge on practical sustainability approaches and technologies should be systematically compiled and shared via open-access knowledge platforms. Least developed countries and small island developing states should have priority access to such resources, including scientific publications. But the data sources for these platforms should go beyond standard scientific research to include information from nonacademic knowledge providers, such as government agencies, civil society organizations, the private sector, citizen-science initiatives and local communities. Key insights should be synthesized and translated into policy options and actions, supported by earmarked funding from official development assistance and international research programmes.
Then, they ask for better partnerships. Fair partnerships between the Global South and the Global North countries, but also more South-South partnerships. More funds for research in developing countries should also mean more money for partnerships.
Fair scientific partnerships are essential for development. A recent initiative launched in sub-Saharan Africa, the Research Fairness Initiative, encourages governments, national research and innovation agencies, academic and research institutions, business and funders to report how they take measures to create fair partnerships in research and innovation for health that are trusting, lasting, transparent and more effective, and how they will plan towards improvement in key areas of the field.
It is also important to invest in North-South and South-South research partnerships. Those can build transformative capacities and applications in developing and transition countries, as well as in the global North. Various international donors and foundations have increased their funding for research cooperation. However, more support is needed, some of which can come from domestic sources within developing and transition countries. The African Open Science Platform provides a powerful example of African states’ developing their own capacities towards usable interdisciplinary data collection for scientists and societal actors.