On October 3, Dr. Martina Hirayama, State Secretary for Education, Research and Innovation represented Switzerland at the 17th S&T Ministers’ Roundtable organized by the Government of Japan. The meeting took place on the occasion of the Science and Technology for Society Forum (STS forum) which was held online this year.
The Roundtable was attended by a total of 35 Ministers, Vice Ministers and equivalents, including Ministers from Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Spain and the EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. Japan’s Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, Mr. Shinji Inoue opened the event.
The theme this year was “Science, Technology and Innovation to address huge threats to humanity – the role of international R&D collaboration, social sciences & humanities, and open science”. State Secretary Hirayama stressed the importance of international cooperation in science and innovation, the exchange of scientific data, storing, sharing and reuse of research data across borders and across scientific disciplines, and providing access to a wide range of related services flanked by technical standards.
She added that in setting priorities for research and innovation policies, particular attention should be paid to the involvement of stakeholders and citizens. “In order to achieve efficient and sustainable impact, new mechanisms for priority settings and implementation need to be established based on participation and joint implementation with society” she said.
The STS forum is an invitation-only event that was founded in 2004 by Mr. Koji Omi, a former Minister of Finance and former Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy in the Japanese government. Every year, global leaders including top government officials, heads of academic institutions and leading corporate executives meet for three days at the forum’s annual meeting in Kyoto, starting on the first Sunday of October.