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Global research initiative launched (11/02/03)

At a meeting in Delhi, India, on 21 January, nine of the world?s leading research organizations formally launched the Global Research Alliance (GRA) with the aim of combining the research resources and efforts of the individual institutions towards solving some of the world?s most pressing problems.

The launch followed an April 2002 initiative by South Africa?s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) when leaders of the nine knowledge-intensive technology organizations met in Pretoria, South Africa for a two-day workshop. That culminated in the signing of a set of guiding principles for the GRA, which were the basis for the Delhi launch.

Speaking at the launch, Dr. Geoff Garrett, Chief Executive of Australia?s national research organization, CSIRO (one of the GRA signatories), said the Alliance would facilitate cooperation on international research and development projects, particularly in the areas of water, health, energy, transportation and the 'digital divide'.

CSIRO will itself host a meeting of GRA experts in two months time to develop a business approach to resolving problems associated with world water supplies.

"We will be specifying R&D and corresponding implementation needs in support of the Alliance's contribution to one of the millennium goals of halving, by 2015, the numbers of the people in our world without access to clean, safe drinking water and basic sanitation," Dr Garrett said.

The Alliance also includes India?s CSIR, the Danish Technological Institute, TNO in The Netherlands, VTT in Finland and other major groups in Germany, Malaysia and the United States, together combining a workforce of over 50,000 scientists and technologists to address global problems. 

Overarching Alliance objectives are to:

  • undertake large-impact projects for the benefit of society  
  • create synergy by pooling the energies, skills and facilities of participants  
  • promote projects with high-innovation content, and  
  • develop global knowledge networks for industry and industrial sectors to enhance their competitiveness.

Bill McCann