The secretariat for the new ten-year research initiative Future Earth has been announced. Future Earth's secretariat will span three continents with five global hubs in Montreal, Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm and Boulder, Colorado (U.S.)
The new secretariat was announced by the International Council for Science on behalf of the members of the Science and Technology Alliance for Global Sustainability (the Alliance).
ver 20 expressions of interest were received for the Future Earth ecretariat. Following a two-day bidders' conference hosted in Paris, consolidated final bids were reviewed on the basis of their vision, capability, organisational model and management plan and funding.
The preferred bidder is an international consortium of several lead organisations:
Montreal International (Montreal, Canada)
Ministry of Higher Education and Research (Paris, France)
Science Council of Japan (Tokyo, Japan)
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Stockholm Sweden)
University of Colorado (Boulder) and Colorado State University (Fort Collins).
This is complemented by regional hubs co-ordinated by:
Latin America: Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research
Asia: Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
Europe: Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Middle East and North Africa: Cyprus Institute
Discussions to develop an African hub are underway, with plans in other regions also under consideration.
“This is an innovative model for traditional academic approaches to research and engagement, but one increasingly adopted throughout the private sector, because a globalized world demands innovative and collaborative approaches. We believe a globally distributed leadership model will serve the international community best in advancing new knowledge and novel approaches to solve humanity’s most pressing global sustainability challenges” said the international consortium, in a joint statement.
The preferred bidder consortium is currently working with the Alliance to refine details of their proposal ahead of agreeing a Memorandum of Understanding. Members of the consortium are also in discussion with the Future Earth Interim Secretariat and the Science and Engagement Committees in order to plan a smooth transition, with a view to becoming operational by the end of 2014.
More information, key contacts, and statements from members of the Alliance are available on the ICSU website.
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