In response to these trends, the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) launched a Working Group on International Research Collaborations (I-Group) in 2008, following its meeting on New Partnerships on a Global Platform that June. Sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine, GUIRR serves as a forum for dialogue among the top leaders of government and non-government research organizations. GUIRR and two organizational affiliates, the Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) and the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership (UIDP), facilitate research collaborations in the U.S. context. Past GUIRR discussions have also covered important aspects of the international environment for research activities (see Thursby and Thursby, 2006, which was commissioned by GUIRR).
l-Group was formed to examine international research collaborations in a systematic, practical way. The goal is to work with stakeholders to develop a more structured approach to collaborations and help companies and universities deal with various cultural, administrative, and legal complexities in undertaking them. According to its Statement of Purpose, I-Group “engages in dialogue and discussion to facilitate international collaborations among academic, government, and industrial partners by: (1) identifying policies and operations that enhance our ability to collaborate; (2) identifying barriers to collaboration—policies and operations that could be improved; (3) developing a web-based resource or other compendium of successful strategies and methodologies; and (4) suggesting how barriers might be addressed.”
As part of I-Group’s continuing effort, a workshop on Examining Core Elements of International Research Collaboration was held July 26-27, 2010 in Washington, DC. The National Research Council formed a Planning Committee to organize the activity. The charge to the Planning Committee was as follows:
An ad hoc committee will plan and conduct a two-day public workshop on international research collaborations. The agenda of the workshop will be developed with topics to enhance international understanding and diminish barriers to research collaborations, providing an important forum for the expected participants from scientific and engineering research communities in the U.S. and other countries. Issues to be addressed in the workshop include the following: (1) Cultural Differences and Nuances; (2) Legal Issues and Agreements; (3) Differences in Ethical Standards; (4) Research Integrity