Date: 15 November 2021By

Eckart’s Corner – Words from the Secretary General #2-2021

Eckarts Corner1 1

Dear members and friends of the Global Innovation Family,

Time to update you again on what has happened in the WAITRO context since I last wrote to you.

You remember that I wrote about the vacant post of Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific last time? Well, two candidates were nominated and the election process turned out to be much more unusual and stretching than anything I have experienced with elections in WAITRO so far – probably anything we have experienced in WAITRO in its 51 years of existence. We had a memorable election process, which lasted for three (!) rounds. First time a draw (20-20 votes) and then the second time a draw again (24-24 votes). Finally, according to the Constitution, lots had to be drawn and the lucky winner was Theresia Ningsi Astuti from BRIN/Indonesia, whom we thereafter welcomed as a new member of the Executive Board of WAITRO. By the way, BRIN, the National Research and Innovation Agency – the Republic of Indonesia, was formed as a merger of our long-time member LIPI with four other research organizations.

I am glad to report that in the WAITRO Secretariat there have been three additions: in the German office Edmund Pimentel (design) and in the China office Dong Chuqiao and Hang Yucheng (both working on the benchmarking project).

Furthermore, we extended our network of partners. The Global Sustainable Technology & Innovation Community (G-STIC) became a strategic partner of WAITRO in August. In the context of this partnership, a first call for project proposals for a Climate Action Programme was linked with our innovation platform SAIRA: it was recommended to find suitable project partners on SAIRA. Thus, quite some ideas for new climate-impact solutions were uploaded onto our innovation platform and we expect a second call early next year. In turn, WAITRO was invited to attend the G-STIC Conference in Dubai. Our WAITRO President, HRH Princess Sumaya bin El Hassan, gave a very well received keynote at the high-level plenary opening session and I had the honor to be on the panel for the closing session, which was a discussion on sustainable development. It was really exciting to attend the conference in person – after a long period of no physical meetings due to COVID-19. The second part of the G-STIC Conference in Dubai will take place during the Global Goals Thematic Business forum of World Expo, 17-19 January 2022. We are planning to go there in January again. Please let us know in case you will be there, too.

The WAITRO Secretariat continues to offer info sessions and workshops. For example, last week the office Germany hosted a very successful pitch trainings for researchers of WAITRO members, which was well received and attended by more than 150 (!) participants across WAITRO members. Right now, we are planning the sessions and workshops for next year. All members can give their input and mention wishes to their Regional Focal Point or directly to the Secretariat.

We are now starting to plan the WAITRO Global Innovation Summit (GIS) and General Assembly 2022 for late next year. Although the exact time and place are yet to be decided (amidst ongoing uncertainty caused by the pandemic), we are looking to continue the tradition started in 2020 of focusing the GIS on a particular UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The proposal next year is to focus on SDG 17 “Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”.

Perhaps you might have not noticed, but for quite a while the WAITRO Annual Report 2020 is available on our website for downloading. We put in quite a bit of detail about WAITRO’s activities and the 50th Anniversary Global Innovation Summit, so we are interested to hear your feedback. A paper version has been printed, but due to pandemic-related shipping delays the physical copies have not yet been distributed. Apologies to our members that they will receive copies quite late, but you can save a tree and download the PDF version anytime. Additional copies will be available upon request.

I am happy to see our Global Innovation Family growing steadily. There are too many to name all new members, which joined since my last post, but I would like to mention at least from which countries they come: China, Cameroon, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, India, Italy, Kenya, USA, Somalia, Thailand and Vietnam. Quite a few of them are featured in the news section on the website and you will also find a list of all members here.

Ongoing reminder: at WAITRO, we are always interested in new, active members. For that purpose, we also need your help: if you have contacts to other research organizations, please spread the word, inform them about WAITRO and invite them to apply for membership. Remember: it is free of charge until the end of 2022, so an organization can try out a membership without any financial cost!

Finally, compact news with links to more detailed information are available in the latest WAITRO Newsletter. A PDF version of it is available in the download section of the website. If you don’t receive them automatically yet, you can sign up for the newsletter here.

Please stay safe,


About the Author: Eckart Bierdümpel

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