Quick links to: June 1June 2June 3

Pre-conference plenary

Plenary available for viewing in the conference platform before the conference starts.
(Date to be confirmed)

Sustainable development and research: What role for research?
The twin urgent challenges of the 21st century are climate change and global development.  Climate change is having real and long-term impacts on environments, societies and economies around the globe, and these impacts are far greater in developing countries.

International collaboration in developing and using research infrastructures enables scientific research and technology development necessary to address global challenges and achieve environmental and social sustainability. This panel will include a discussion of how to ensure public investments in research infrastructures lead to scientific and technology advances that will benefit the global community.

It will also address questions such as: What types of organizational, financial, social and cultural structures will be needed to support the research to produce solutions to global challenges? How can we, as a global society, put in place such structures in ways that are inclusive, equitable, affordable and effective? What are the risks, and what are the potential benefits?

Annette Verschuren, Chair and CEO of NStor Inc.

Ashok Khosla, Chairman, Center for Development Alternatives
Mona Nemer, Chief Science Advisor (Canada)
Janez Potočnik, Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel, Partner at SYSTEMIQ, former European Commissioner for Research and Innovation and for Environment

Tuesday, June 1

Note: all times appear in Eastern Daylight Time (Ottawa, Canada)

08:00-09:00 – PLENARY 1

The role of research and infrastructure in building a sustainable world
Though COVID-19 has dominated the world’s headlines and the attention of global science, the endemic problems posed by climate change and environmental degradation have not gone away. By their very nature, these global challenges calls for concerted and coordinated responses.

This multidisciplinary panel will explore the contribution of research infrastructures in fostering a more sustainable future. It will consider the economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainability (including health and wellbeing) and the role of research and research infrastructures in meeting global challenges.

Elizabeth Cannon, President Emerita, University of Calgary

Edith Heard, Director General, European Molecular Biological Laboratory
Jan Hrušák, Chair, European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures
Youba Sokona, Vice Chair of the IPCC and former Executive Secretary of the Sahara and the Sahel Observatory



09:15-10:45 – PARALLEL SESSIONS 1

A1 – International data management policies and practices
This session will explore how research infrastructures are implicated in the changing landscape of data management. Research infrastructures are producing increasingly large amounts of data. While this is in itself a significant management challenge, the task is more complex at the international level as partners may operate under different data policies (open access policies, privacy rules, proprietary rules, etc.) and an agreement must be found to preserve the data in a sustainable way. In emergency situations, research infrastructures need to overcome potential barriers to data sharing to facilitate their use for the common good. How this was carried out during the COVID-19 crisis will be analyzed to see if useful practices could be perpetuated.

B1 – The importance of global research infrastructure governance
This session will examine two case studies of well-established, operational global research infrastructures as well as one that is just being implemented. It will focus on the challenges and importance of good governance of global research infrastructures. The case studies will explore: different types of global research infrastructure (centralized, distributed, multifunctional, multi-service); different governance models and their rationale; legal forms; and, current challenges.

C1 – Broadening the perception of the impacts of research infrastructures
This session will feature a panel discussion by three or four prominent speakers who will address issues such as:

  • Socioeconomic impact versus broader societal benefits of research infrastructures
  • The role of societal perception of research infrastructures in different countries and societies
  • How to communicate the impact of research infrastructures to citizens
  • Global and regional impact and how research infrastructures influence their local research and innovation ecosystems
  • How research infrastructures respond to global challenges including sustainable development goals

D1 – Optimizing data sharing in academic-public sector collaborations
This session will address how research facilities’ data infrastructure and policies encourage or discourage collaboration. This includes questions about open and accessible data, open-source software, data integrity and other potentially restrictive policies. It will consider questions such as:

  • What are the data-sharing and security needs of researchers from academia and the public sector? Where do they diverge, and how can they both be supported? How can we balance open science and security?
  • How do intellectual property considerations affect data sharing and openness?



11:00-12:30 – PARALLEL SESSIONS 2

A2 – Financing international research infrastructures
This session will dive into the diversity of partners involved in new international research infrastructures, where increasing costs may challenge the feasibility and sustainability of the facilities. Often, contingency mechanisms need to be developed, a proper valuation of the contribution of each partner defined, in-kind contributions properly managed, and business models for long-term sustainability built in from the start. How research infrastructures mobilize resources in emergency situations will also be addressed.

B2 – Theoretical background: Organizational structure and legal options for global research infrastructures
This session will feature three distinct presentations from different research infrastructures, touching on the following:

  • Legal form;
  • Responsibilities of partners; and,
  • Oversight responsibilities for research infrastructures.

C2 – The role of assessing societal impact in policymaking
This session will discuss in detail the role of measuring socioeconomic and societal impacts in policymaking for research infrastructures and extending that role to other policy domains (health, societal welfare, education, culture, etc.).

Please note alternate start time

D2 – Solving future crises through collaboration
This session will identify how research collaborations can and will respond to future challenges and crises. Key areas of discussion include:

  • Predicting future crises and preparing for those that are unpredictable
  • Addressing both acute crises and long-term challenges
  • Prize challenges and other funding models to address global problems
  • Creating resilient organizations for collaboration (e.g. through online tools)

Wednesday, June 2

Note: all times appear in Eastern Daylight Time (Ottawa, Canada)

08:00-09:30 – PARALLEL SESSIONS 3

A3 – Meeting stakeholder expectations for international research infrastructures
Research infrastructures are increasingly expected to produce socioeconomic impacts beyond scientific knowledge. At the international level, these are often expected not only for each partner but also for the general good of society, such as defined by sustainable development goals, or as defined during a crisis. Assessing the impact of international research infrastructures, which are often distributed, is complex, and various partners may have different expectations. This session will look at how international research infrastructures can reconcile their main scientific objectives with those additional expectations and deliver added value beyond scientific knowledge.

B3 – World café: Creating and implementing the right model

Participants will discuss in a world café style three groups of questions:

1. Creating the Right Model – each table will discuss:

  • What are the goals and objectives your respective GRI is trying to achieve through good governance?
  • What financial and human resources has your respective GRI and what is needed or missing?
  • What are the essential decisions a collaboration needs to make when choosing a governance model?

2. Implementing the model – each table will discuss:

  • Who are the entities best suited to lead the implementation of a new or improved governance approach?
  • How does an RI develop good and suitable procedures and documentation?
  • How can developers or leadership of RIs socialize governance models, overcome the past if needed, and train employees and external stakeholders to utilize any new systems?

3. Recommendations and good practices for existing GRI to react on crises – each table will discuss:

  • What is the role of the governance of GRIs in responding to crises?
  • How would a good reaction of RI governance to a crisis look like?
  • What is the role of GRIs in the research system to help to prevent and overcome crises?

The capacity for the world café is limited to 72 Participants. Registered participants for theme B will receive an RSVP to attend this session, and confirmed participants will receive a link to join the session via email.

C3 – The specificities of territorial impact
This session will discuss in detail specificities of territorial impact of research infrastructures from the local to the global level. It will be interactive, featuring panelists and breakout sessions. Virtual table moderators will prepare a summary and report on the outcomes at the end of the session.

Please note alternate start time

D3 – Lessons learned from COVID-19’s impact on academic-public sector collaborations
This panel will discuss the opportunities and challenges that COVID-19 has provided for multisectoral collaborations (both ongoing and new). It will also discuss the long-term impact of COVID-19 on collaborations and research priorities. Finally, this panel will consider how facilities can be designed to be flexible and respond to changing mandates over time.



09:45-11:15 – PARALLEL SESSIONS 4

A4 – Toward new partnerships in international research infrastructures
New international research infrastructures bring together an increasing diversity of partners from both public and private sectors (industries, non-governmental organizations, foundations) and from many countries, each with different expectations. While these projects are a formidable opportunity to build bridges between new stakeholders, governance models and working processes need to take into account constraints of different cultures, varying scientific experience and know-how, and the potential contributions of each partner. This session will investigate potential partnership models, including ad hoc collaborations that were implemented during crises.

C4 – The role of transdisciplinary collaboration in addressing global challenges
This session will focus on the role of transdisciplinary collaboration among research infrastructures in answering global challenges. It will address various issues of transnational collaboration.

D4 – Attracting talent and building connections to foster new collaborations
This panel will address how research infrastructure facilities can attract new research talent. It will consider what problems may exist with the talent recruitment pipeline and what barriers to collaboration currently exist. It will discuss what activities, tools or frameworks groups may use to attract talent and how talent recruitment can create a more diverse workforce.

10:30 – 11:30
Please note alternate start time

B4 – Interactive meeting on key takeaways of sessions B1, B2 & B3
B1, B2 and B3 sessions leads present main messages of B1, B2 and B3; Discussion and interactive poll to distil up to 5 main messages for the plenary.

Thursday, June 3

Note: all times appear in Eastern Daylight Time (Ottawa, Canada)

08:00-09:00 – PLENARY 2

Marshalling global research infrastructure to address emergencies: Incorporating resilience and agility in research infrastructure planning, financing, and operations

Beyond its public health impacts, the COVID-19 pandemic will be remembered as one of the most significant examples to date of worldwide scientific collaboration.

Across the globe, researchers and research institutions pivoted to find treatments and cures. This level of collaboration highlights the potential for research infrastructures to be resilient and agile, capable of reorienting their activities to address urgent situations.

The panel will explore how to design, finance and operate research infrastructures in a manner that provides them that resilience and agility.

Joy Johnson, President and Vice-Chancellor, Simon Fraser University

Xavier Barcons, ESO Director General
Werner Kutsch, Director General, Integrated Carbon Observation System
Beryl Morris, Director, Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network
Anna Panagopoulou, Director, European Research Area and Innovation







11:00-12:00 – PLENARY 3

Possibilities and potential of global collaboration
The sophistication, size and operating costs of research infrastructures put at risk the capacity of any one country or jurisdiction to finance, construct and operate them. This is occurring at a moment when the global community faces challenges that call for new research infrastructures to address climate change and sustainable development.

As COVID-19 demonstrated, the significant scientific and technological advances of the future are likely to emerge from international collaborations — for which access to research infrastructures is critical.

This panel will explore these issues with a focus on the possibility for multilateral cooperation in financing, designing and operating research infrastructures, communities and economies in a more sustainable future.

Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation

Simon Kennedy, Deputy Minister, Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development of Canada
Jean-Eric Paquet, Director General, Directorate for Research and Innovation, European Commission