Host University
Vice Presidents for Research Meeting 2018

4th APRU Vice Presidents for Research Meeting

Date: October 17-19, 2018
Host: UC San Diego

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Click here to download the APRU Impact Report 2018.

Themed “Solving Problems through Collaborative Research,” the 4th APRU Vice Presidents for Research Meeting was held on October 17-19, 2018 at UC San Diego. Sharing best practices amongst participants from government, academia and research community was the aim. APRU was called on to use its network to further promote multidisciplinary collaborations in order to contribute to government policies and amplify the societal impact of academic research.

Sandra A. Brown, UC San Diego Vice Chancellor for Research

The two-day meeting officially commenced on October 18 with an introduction from Sandra A. Brown, UC San Diego Vice Chancellor for Research, followed by welcome remarks from Arthur Ellis, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies from UC Office of the President.

Dr. Ellis referenced “collective excellence” to the amplification of research impact on societies through identifying collective responsibilities, recognizing opportunities for collective action, and identifying synergies. He also noted the importance of APRU in this time of internationalization as a network of 50 leading research-led university network.

The vital importance of a network strategy for connecting research to policy impact was the focus of presentation on APRU Overview by Dr. Christopher Tremewan, APRU Secretary General.

Dr. Tremewan highlighted the recent launch of APRU’s second Impact Report in partnership with Elsevier. Entitled, Amplifying Impact: Transformative Solutions to Asia-Pacific Challenges, the report showcases the benefits of interdisciplinary collaboration between the social sciences and humanities (SSH), and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in addressing global challenges. Furthermore, it demonstrates the necessity of doing so if real solutions are to be found that are tailored to a wide diversity of contexts.

Workable solutions to the complexity of 21st century Asia-Pacific challenges rely extensively on the comprehensive range of capacities that universities possess.

The “Building Multidisciplinary Research within Academic Institutions” session saw four APRU member universities—The University of Sydney, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The University of British Columbia and UC Davis—engage in a lively conversation exchange about the multidisciplinary research outputs by the region’s top universities, focusing on issues, such as expediting strategic initiatives and the necessity of the role that leadership plays in combining STEM and SSH research, of which was a major theme of the APRU Impact Report 2018.

Led by Arturo Molina of Tecnológico de Monterrey, representatives from UC Davis, Chulalongkorn University and UNSW Sydney shared their views on a variety of topics, such as industry partnership and mentorship, government knowledge and technology transfer policies, international collaboration and innovative entrepreneurship, in “Collaboration Models for Research and Technology Transfer” session.

Entrepreneurship and IP are two of the biggest challenges of the modern world. APRU member network can collectively facilitate exchanges of entrepreneurship, upscaling ideas and the sharing of resources through creation of special interest groups and establishment of pertinent online forums. In terms of IP, a tool to foster greater engagement and further the university’s mission, participants discussed the value of developing a set of principles to effectively handle IP-related issues and to address faculty expectations.

“Universities were developed to create new knowledge and to take that knowledge to create innovation and new technology, to bring that out, for commercialization but also for social good,” said Dr Sandra Brown.

University’s role in public impact-focused research on grand global challenges has become increasingly important. The highly integrative basic and responsive (HIBAR) model, which calls for consciously considering the application and societal engagement of basic research is sought after more than ever. David Conover from University of Oregon, along with Michele Popowitz from UCLA and Andy Hor from The University of Hong Kong together addressed these issues with other panellists during the “National Programs on Impact Oriented Research” session.

Peter Cowhey, UC San Diego Dean and Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Communications and Technology Policy, led a “fireside” chat with a student panel on the topic of Communicating to Fulfil Public Responsibility and Enhance Trust.

Peter Cowhey, UC San Deigo Dean and Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Communications and Technology Policy

APRU Director (Policy and Programs), Christina Schönleber, spoke on the same topic in a different session, explaining APRU’s intension to have a more active communication between the organization, its partners and the public in order to increase benefits for the whole Asia-Pacific region.

Christina Schönleber, APRU Director (Policy and Programs) (2nd from the left) with fellow meeting attendees

“The increasing economic integration of the Asia-Pacific region offers bigger potential for collaboration on scientific research and on advising government and business in the region. Working closely with our members, APRU is looking to thus considerably widen our impact commitment and resources to build on these opportunities,” said Ms. Schönleber.

Participants voted on further topics for discussion on day 2, which included a focus on climate change and infrastructures for developing collaborations. This was picked up in part by Professor Veerabhadran Ramanathan as part of his talk on how to combat climate change and the next day’s panel discussion on “International Collaboration Success and Challenges Panel” among Waseda University, University of Southern California, The University of Sydney and UC San Diego.

Naoto Kobayashi, Waseda University; Mellissa Withers, USC; Duncan Ivison, The University of Sydney; and Peter Cowhey, UC San Diego on the International Collaboration Success and Challenges Panel

Achieving global stability necessitates collaboration and partnership in and out of academia. Situated in a region known for its geographical activities, economic dynamism, ethnic and cultural diversities, APRU is perfectly placed to leverage its neutral platform in a de-centralized working manner from a geostrategic location to foster cross-border and cross-sector industry partnerships and entrepreneurships for the betterment of societies.

Attendees were treated to an innovation tour at Qualcomm Institute

The Vice Presidents for Research Meeting platform aims to bring together university leadership in strategic and sustainable collaborative research. Through this, APRU’s VPs for Research network addresses critical issues in the future of research universities, policies, funding, technological transfer and enterprise in research-intensive universities in the Pacific Rim.

Vice Presidents for Research Meeting 2019 will be hosted by Chulalongkorn University in Thailand on October 28-30, 2019.

Download APRU Impact Report 2018 here


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