Former Foreign Secretary and now Academy President, Professor Andrew Holmes AM PresAA FRS FTSE, attended the joint Executive Committee meeting of the IAP: the global network of science academies (IAP) and the InterAcademy Council (IAC) hosted by the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, in Rome, 15‒16 May. The meeting discussed science strategic planning, poverty eradication, science education, initiatives on ‘smart villages’, science diplomacy, and future statements and policy reports.
To help promote research collaborations with Australia, the Embassy of Belgium hosted an information day in Canberra on 7 March for Belgian researchers living and working in Australia. Representatives from the Academy, the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, the Department of Industry, NHMRC and ARC attended, and provided information about their programs with Europe and Belgium. His Excellency Mr Jean-Luc Bodson, Belgian Ambassador to Australia, also hosted a lunch on 8 April attended by the Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb AC, Academy Vice President Professor Chennupatti Jagadish FAA FTSE, Professor Patrick De Deckker FAA, and representatives from the ARC, CSIRO, NHMRC and the Group of Eight.
Academy Chief Executive, Dr Sue Meek AO, attended a meeting with an Indonesian presidential advisory group on innovation, held in Canberra on 5 May and organised by the CSIRO. Professor Sangkot Marzuki AM, President of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences, along with leading research leaders and innovation economists, discussed the innovation issues facing Australia. The meeting was an opportunity to build connections and awareness about the rapidly developing Indonesian innovation system.
Ms Cathryn Hlavka, Minister Counsellor (Education and Research) at the Australian Embassy in Beijing visited the Academy on 6 May and met with Academy Chief Executive, Dr Meek, and Director of International Programs, Ms Nancy Pritchard, about the Academy’s activities with China, including the 11th Australia-China Symposium being held this year in Melbourne and visits to China by members of the Academy’s Executive Committee during 2014. They also discussed the recent federal Budget announcement of a new $10 million Australia‒China Fund to support research collaborations.
The Academy was invited by the President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Professor Chunli Bai, to give a plenary talk at the 17th General Assembly of the Members of CAS on 10 June in Beijing. The Secretary Physical Sciences, Professor Chennupati Jagadish FAA FTSE, represented the Academy at this event. He was one of five international plenary speakers asked to share their experience of national academies of science undertaking strategic studies and advice to government and society. The plenary was attended by 750 Members of CAS, plus 200 experts and administrative staff from different scientific disciplines and institutions. This is the first time that CAS has arranged plenary talks of this kind targeted at the entire CAS Membership and beyond.
Professor Russell Boyce, Chair of the Academy’s National Committee for Space and Radio Science, and Ms Pritchard met on 29 April with Ms Yu-Lan Huang, Director of the Science and Technology Division of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia (TECO), to explore possible links between Australia and Taiwan in space and radio sciences. Professor Boyce provided information on research being undertaken in Australia and Ms Huang gave an overview of the activities of Taiwan’s National Space Organisation and other Taiwanese research organisations.
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