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G7 nations to boost international research response to future crises

G7 science ministers have committed to strengthening international collaboration on scientific research, as nations work together to #BuildBackBetter from the pandemic.

The meeting of G7 ministers took place today (13 July) to discuss ways to promote the free flow of scientific knowledge across borders and enhance cooperation while protecting international research and innovation from security risks.

Ministers were also joined by Dr Fabiola Giannotti, Director General of CERN, and member of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council (GEAC) to discuss widening participation in scientific research through efforts to promote diversity and inclusion.

Today’s meeting follows the G7 Compact on Research Collaboration, published following the summit last month alongside the Leaders’ Communique, which committed G7 nations to support policies, legal frameworks and programmes which will protect and enhance international scientific research and collaboration.

The agreement means G7 Science Ministries, including the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), will work together to address barriers that hinder research cooperation, improving our ability to respond to future crises such as pandemics.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:

This pandemic has demonstrated the urgent need for governments to work together to tackle our common challenges. From genomic sequencing to vaccines, our scientists and researchers have achieved far more working across borders than they would have been able to alone.

I’m pleased that today’s Ministerial and the G7 Research Compact set the foundations for even more effective collaboration in the years ahead.

Through the publication of the Research Compact, the G7 have committed to:

  • promote the efficient and secure processing and sharing of research data across the G7 and beyond
  • a pilot study focussed on data sharing in emergencies in order to build resilience against future shocks
  • establish a working group to develop common principles on the security and integrity of the research ecosystem

The G7 Research Compact also stresses the commitment of nations to developing a strong, diverse and resilient science and research community. The Compact highlights the importance of deepening participation of underserved, underrepresented and marginalised communities, and increasing momentum on dismantling the barriers to participation in research and innovation. This is further supported by the work of the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council.

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