What has been the impact of the pandemic on research and innovation?
The pandemic has shown that it is primordial that research becomes available to researchers instantly and openly, and that collaborations are the only means of working and progressing humanity in the right direction. There is need for a higher purpose for all research that needs to work for the benefit of society and existence of life in general. Challenges related to global health, environment, space and labour can only be tackled together while pursuing the same objectives.
Which trends do you anticipate for 2022?
Working more collaboratively and in an interdisciplinary manner on grand challenges, valuing the individual and their needs, an emphasis on societal impact (not just scientific), communication to society, reinforcing trust in science as a pillar of our society, and involving society in the definition of challenges and potential research.
How will the FNR meet those trends?
The FNR will support mission-related research through national centres of excellence, raise awareness about equality, biases, gender issues, mentorship, mental health and well-being. It will reward such impact and adapt evaluation criteria. The FNR will explore various concepts of science communication and “citizen science”.
This article first appeared in the January 2022 special forecast edition of Delano magazine.