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Wednesday, November 13 • 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Keynote Session: Not a palaver! How can interdisciplinary, intersectoral and international collaboration be successful? / Pas un palabre! Comment assurer la réussite de la collaboration interdisciplinaire, intersectorielle et internationale?

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Panel Organized by: UK Research and Innovation North America 

Increasingly, complex research problems are not solved by single disciplines and research at the frontiers of disciplines can be transformative. Bridging another gap – that which can exist between research and innovation – is the next necessary transformation but can be a difficult process. As public funders we have a responsibility to help these transformative outcomes flourish by fostering collaboration not only at disciplinary interfaces, but between sectors and where there is mutual benefit between nations.

The word palaver historically meant “an improvised conference between two groups, typically those without a shared language or culture” (OED). The modern day palaver is “an unnecessarily complex and elaborate procedure”. In the 21st century research is firmly accepted as a global enterprise, with increasingly interdisciplinary underlying questions, and solutions requiring cross-sector collaboration. With so many actors involved, how do we handle the complexity and mitigate the potential for confusion? In other words, how do we turn the potential for ‘what a palaver’ into ‘not a palaver’?

This panel will explore how funders, business and academia can work together to develop shared languages, clear objectives and simplified structures. We will explore how national strategies for research and innovation can shape collaboration, how structural changes can help organisations achieve their ambitions, identify challenges and solutions for working across disciplines, sectors and nations, and give examples of how this plays out in practice.  


Melanie Welham

Executive Chair, UKRI Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
avatar for Ted Hewitt

Ted Hewitt

President, Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada; Chair of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee
Ted Hewitt was appointed president of SSHRC in March 2015. Since 2017, he also has served as the inaugural Chair of the Canada Research Coordinating Committee. Ted was vice-president, research and international relations, at Western University in London, Ontario, from 2004 to 2011... Read More →

Wednesday November 13, 2019 6:30pm - 7:30pm
Confederation Ballroom

Attendees (1)