Benefits and implications of EU and global collaboration by UK universities
Published on 1 March 2016
Digital Research Report, "UK Universities, International
Collaboration and Research Assessment"
London: March 1st 2016: Digital Science and the UK Higher
Education International Unit today report on UK Universities,
International Collaboration and Research Assessment, focusing on
international academic collaboration across the UK research base
and on the implications of EU and global collaboration for
universities, research assessment and the economy.
The report highlights the rapid growth of EU and global
collaboration, from less than 10% to more than half of all academic
research. Today, the majority of our international collaborative
partners in research are in other EU member states and this is the
fastest growing part of the research base. Collaborative research
also has a far greater impact than other research activity.
The main findings of the report highlight how:
- Knowledge capacity is compromised by a failure to be active
internationally. The emergence of international knowledge networks
(a 'Fourth Age' of research) means that UK universities need to
develop strategies to expand international engagement to remain
competitive in accessing resources.
- Research rankings will be unable to provide proper comparisons.
International collaboration is now so common, and covers so much of
the most highly-cited output, that no analysis or profile can be
exclusively attributable to any single country or university.
- Owning knowledge assets is less important than having the right
skills to use them. If research is shared then its content
and IP is shared.The agility to exploit knowledge ahead of
competitors is critically important. A flourishing university
research base provides an ideal environment for developing
knowledge-competent people with the skills that our European
competitive economies require.
Jonathan Adams, Chief Scientist, Digital
Science says of the report:
"Universities must recognise the
implications of the 'Fourth Age' of research - where knowledge is
generated by international teams, and international collaboration
is the only way to be part of this. Research funders also have to
recognise the fact that knowledge is shared so agility in use of
this knowledge, not ownership of it, is the route to exploiting
assets - this is a key priority for Higher Education. Governments
need to acknowledge that they can no longer get simple numbers on
their research 'performance', when this performance is truly
Vivienne Stern, Director, UK Higher Education
International Unit says:
"Universities bring together
researchers from across the world, pooling expertise, data and
resource, and enabling them to achieve more together than they
could alone. In a world where many of the challenges we face are
global - from cancer to climate change - it is more important than
ever that we work alongside our international partners. For the UK
to sustain its international reputation, we need to maintain and
increase our global research collaboration."
You can download the report via Figshare here.
About Digital Science
Digital Science is a technology company serving the needs of
scientific and research communities, at the laboratory bench or in
a research setting. It invests in and incubates scientific software
companies that simplify the research cycle, making more time for
discovery. Its portfolio companies include a host of leading and
admired brands including Altmetric, BioRAFT, Figshare, Labguru,
Overleaf, ReadCube, Symplectic and ÜberResearch. It is operated by
global media company, the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group.
Visit http://www.digital-science.com and follow
@digitalsci on Twitter.
About Universities UK
Universities UK (UUK) is the representative organisation for the
UK's universities. Founded in 1918, its mission is to be the voice
for all universities in the UK, providing high quality leadership
and support to its members to promote a successful and diverse
higher education sector. With 133 members and offices in London,
Cardiff (Universities Wales) and Edinburgh (Universities Scotland),
it promotes the strength and success of UK universities nationally
About The UK Higher Education International
The UK Higher Education International Unit represents UK
universities globally and helps them meet their international
aims.We do this by actively promoting our universities abroad,
providing trusted information for and about them, and create new
opportunities through our ability to act at sector level.We draw on
UK university expertise to influence policy in the UK and overseas
and to deliver information, advice and guidance to enable
collaboration with the broadest possible range of international
partners for mutual benefit.
Find us on Twitter @InternationalUt, www.international.ac.uk
For further information, or if you would like to receive a
printed copy of this report, please contact:
Laura Wheeler, Community
Manager, Digital Science, email@example.com @LauraWheelers