Global Connections: Emerging Science Partners

Appendix C: Regional Scientific Networks

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Challenges for International Scientific Partnerships

The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP)272

The IAP, which formally launched in March 2016 in South Africa, is an overarching organization that includes membership of academies of sciences, engineering, and medicine worldwide.

IAP’s vision is for “the world’s academies to play a vital role in ensuring that science serves society inclusively and equitably and underpins global sustainable development.”273

The IAP has established several regional academy networks, including the Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia; European Academies’ Science Advisory Council; InterAmerican Network of Academies of Sciences; and Network of African Science Academies.

Association of Academies and Societies of Sciences in Asia (AASSA)274

AASSA, the IAP’s regional branch for Asia and the Pacific, was formed in 2012, following the merger of AASA and the Federation of Asian Scientific Academies and Societies. Its objective is to “achieve a society in Asia and Australasia in which science and technology play a major role in the development of the region.”275 AASSA serves as a forum for scientists and technologists to discuss and provide advice on issues related to S&T, R&D, and the application of technology for socioeconomic development.

AASSA is housed in the Korean Academy of Science and Technology. It currently runs two special committees: Women in Science and Engineering; and Science, Health, Agriculture, Risk, and Environment Communication.

European Academies’ Science Advisory Council (EASAC)276

EASAC is the IAP’s regional branch for the national academies of science of the member states of the European Union, Norway, and Switzerland. Its objective is to provide independent, science-based advice to policy-makers, primarily in three core areas: energy, environment, and biosciences.

EASAC is governed by a secretariat based at the German National Academy of Science Leopoldina, with an office in Brussels hosted by the Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium.

InterAmerican Network of Academies of Sciences (IANAS)277

IANAS, the IAP’s regional branch for the Americas, was founded in 2004 and is composed of a network of academies of sciences. Its goal is to support cooperation and strengthen S&T to advance R&D, prosperity, and equality in the Americas.

IANAS supports several programs, including food and nutrition security, energy, water, women for science, science education, and capacity building.

Network of African Science Academies (NASAC)278

NASAC is the IAP’s regional branch for Africa. Its vision is to be “the ideal science advisor and partner in the African continent,” by making African science academies vehicles of positive change and by helping science enable Africa’s potential and its sustainable development.279

NASAC supports work in four major thematic areas, including women for science, climate change, water, and science education. It also supports three major programs, including the Leading Integrated Research for Agenda 2030 collaboration with the ISC; a NASAC–German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina collaboration; and a capacity-building grants program.



International Science Council (ISC)280

The ISC is an NGO comprising forty international scientific unions and associations and more than 140 national and regional scientific organizations. The council was created in 2018 as a result of a merger between the International Council for Science and the International Social Science Council.

The ISC’s mission is “to be the global voice for science; a trusted voice that speaks for the value of all science.”281 It focuses on three primary areas of work: science for policy, policy for science, and scientific freedom and responsibility.

Regional Office for Africa282

The Regional Office for Africa was established in 2005 and is hosted by the South African National Research Foundation in Pretoria.

The office aims to ensure that the voices of African scientists influence international science agendas and that international programs are guided by regional priorities. The office has four major priority areas, including sustainable energy, natural and human-induced hazards and disasters, health and human well-being, and global environmental change.

Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific283

The Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific was established in September 2006 and is hosted in the Malaysian Academy of Sciences in Kuala Lumpur.

The office aims to promote science throughout the Asia and Pacific region that will strengthen the voices of scientists within the region. The office focuses on five primary project areas: hazards and disasters; earthquakes, floods, and landslides; sustainable energy; ecosystem approach; and the special vulnerability of islands.

Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean284

The Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean was established in April 2007. It was hosted by the Brazilian Academy of Science until November 2010, followed by the Mexican Academy of Sciences until 2016; it is now based in San Salvador, El Salvador.

The office, which is led by a steering committee, has four main priority areas: sustainable energy, natural disasters, mathematics education, and biodiversity.



International Network for Government Science Advice (INGSA)285

INGSA is a collaborative platform that aims to enhance the global science-policy interface to improve policy at multiple levels, including subnational, national, and transnational. INGSA operates as part of the ISC and is based in the Centre for Science in Policy, Diplomacy and Society at the University of Auckland, New Zealand.

INGSA partnership organizations include the ISC, the Wellcome Trust, UNESCO, and the International Development Research Centre. INGSA operates at regional levels as well.

INGSA Africa286

Created in February 2016, the African regional chapter of INGSA convenes policy practitioners and scientists from the African continent and is based in Pretoria, South Africa. The chapter is led by a steering committee, which identifies priorities, activities, and opportunities for the chapter to pursue.

INGSA Asia287

The Asian regional office of INGSA operates out of the Malaysian Academy of Science and exists to enable information dissemination and access in Asia. The chapter aims to serve as a support mechanism for policy-makers in the region and as a body encouraging outreach to help increase the demand for science advice from policy-makers.

INGSA Latin American and Caribbean288

The Latin American and Caribbean regional branch of INGSA formed a steering committee to drive the development of the Latin America and Caribbean chapter.



Foreign Ministries Science and Technology Advice Network (FMSTAN)289

FMSTAN is a network of science advisors working within foreign ministries. The network formed in February 2016 with a convening held by the U.S. Science and Technology Advisor at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and involved four S&T advisors to foreign ministers from Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as diplomats from other nations.

The network, whose goal is to articulate for foreign ministers the benefits of investing in S&T capacity, focuses on four areas, including raising awareness about the importance of developing an enduring S&T advisory capacity in foreign ministries; sharing best practices and lessons learned in building an S&T advisory capacity; strengthening the S&T advisory capacity in foreign ministries; and coordinating S&T diplomacy activities.

FMSTAN is a division of INGSA and often hosts meetings alongside events sponsored by another division of INGSA, the Special Interest Division on Science Diplomacy.




FutureEarth “mobilizes networks, sparks innovation, and turns knowledge into action” as part of its efforts to facilitate scientific research.291 The organization focuses on understanding the interconnectedness between the earth’s major systems and using this understanding to develop evidence-based strategies for sustainable development.

FutureEarth, whose aim is to strengthen the interface between science and policy, was officially announced in June 2012 at Rio +20 (the UN Conference on Sustainable Development). It is governed by the ISC, UNESCO, the Belmont Forum, and the UN Environment Programme.



Global Research Council292

The Global Research Council is a virtual network comprising the heads of science and engineering agencies worldwide. It aims to promote data-sharing best practices for international collaboration funding agencies.

The council’s governing board consists of up to twelve representatives from national research councils, including from the Americas, the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.



Global Young Academy (GYA)293

GYA supports activities focused on science and policy, the research environment, and science education and outreach. A cross-cutting theme of the GYA work is the UN’s SDGs. GYA arose from discussions convened by the IAP in 2008 and 2009 with top young scientists and researchers from across the world at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of New Champions. GYA officially launched in 2010.



  • 293GYA (accessed August 12, 2021).

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)294

OECD is an international organization whose goal is to “shape policies that foster prosperity, equality, opportunity and wellbeing for all.”295 The OECD Global Science Forum focuses on the need for international scientific collaboration to address complex scientific challenges worldwide and supports improvements in national science policies so that the benefits of international collaboration can be more effectively shared.296

OECD comprises thirty-six member countries from across North and South America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. Each country is represented by an ambassador on the OECD Council.



The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS)297

TWAS was originally founded in 1983 as the Third World Academy of Sciences by prominent scientists from the developing world. It was inaugurated officially in 1985 by the then Secretary General of the United Nations. Its main mission is to support the pursuit of scientific excellence and advance the cause of  science in developing nations by “supporting sustainable prosperity through research, education, policy and diplomacy.”298 TWAS funding and personnel are administered through UNESCO. TWAS is a global merit-based academy and inducts fellows from both developing and developed countries who have made significant contributions to the advancement of science. It also supports a Young Affiliates fellows’ program, which recognizes scientists with outstanding scientific achievements who are under the age of forty.

TWAS holds five regional partner offices in the developing world: in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (Latin America and Caribbean Regional Partner); in Beijing, China, at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (East and South East Asia and the Pacific Regional Partner); in Alexandria, Egypt, at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Arab Regional Partner); in Bangalore, India, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (Central and South Asia Regional Partner); and in Pretoria, South Africa, at the Academy of Science of South Africa (Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Partner).


  • 297TWAS (accessed August 12, 2021).
  • 298TWAS, “TWAS, the Voice for Science in the South.”