STINT’s overseas offices in Asia and North America
The global research landscape has changed substantially since the establishment of STINT. At the start of the 1990s, almost all cutting-edge research was conducted in just a few countries, mainly in Europe and North America. Today the landscape is considerably more diverse and the number of countries in which a significant share of the research conducted is globally leading has increased markedly.
This development is of course very positive for the world and our possibilities to meet global challenges. Individual researchers enjoy greater opportunities, including much wider networks for scientific partnerships. International partnerships are however much more complex for Swedish researchers and higher education institutions (HEIs) to navigate in this new, more heterogenous global research landscape. STINT has therefore gradually expanded its focus on trend analysis and its overseas offices form part of this expansion. The aim of these overseas offices is to bolster the strategies, activities and networks of Swedish HEIs and research funders by providing more knowledge and skills on the regions covered by these offices in the areas of higher education and research.
STINT’s first overseas office opened in 2018 in China, with the aim of strengthening Swedish HEIs’ strategies, activities and networks regarding the country. This is achieved by providing Swedish HEIs and research funders with knowledge and skills on China’s development in higher education and science. Higher education and research have developed rapidly in China, and at present the country has the world’s largest research production. Swedish HEIs’ partnerships with China are likewise rapidly increasing, placing greater demands on Sweden’s capacity to understand the larger impact of developments in China on the Swedish research and education system as well as how to create strategic partnerships.
In tandem with the development of China, Asia is becoming increasingly important in the global research system and therefore the Shanghai office’s area of interest was expanded in 2020 to include the entire Asia-Pacific region (APAC). On the one hand, the focus is on strong Asian research nations like Japan, South Korea and Singapore in addition to China, and, on the other hand, on monitoring the rapid developments in for instance Southeast Asia.
In 2020, STINT also opened a North American office with the aim of promoting academic partnerships with this world-leading research continent, and to increase understanding of the knowledge systems of Canada and the USA.
The USA continues to be the world’s foremost research nation, despite its share of the global research production declining with the increased investments of China and other countries. The federal structure of the USA, in which states and individual HEIs enjoy great autonomy, may render the landscape difficult to navigate for Swedish actors, but also presents opportunities when they can be identified. Canada has indicated increased future investments in basic and applied research and is pursuing new international research partnerships and the concentration of research funding in several areas which correspond to Swedish research strengths.
Our overseas offices closely cooperate with Sweden’s Embassies in Ottawa, Washington and Beijing, the Consulate Generals in New York and Shanghai, the Consulate in San Francisco, Sweden’s Offices of Science and Innovation, as well as Swedish HEIs and research funders. Efforts are based on strategic relationship building, expert information gathering as well as trend monitoring and analysis.