Over the past several decades, Complex International Science, Technology, and Innovation Partnerships (CISTIPs) have emerged as an increasingly popular policy instrument through which governments seek to build domestic capacity in science, technology and innovation through collaboration with globally recognized expert organizations. For example, countries like Singapore, Russia, the UAE, Portugal, and Saudi Arabia have hired leading research universities from around the globe, including MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and Harvard, to assist them in jumpstarting or strengthening selected research fields, increase innovation and entrepreneurial activity at their leading national universities, or build whole new universities from scratch. Likewise, countries like Algeria, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Thailand and the UAE have entered into collaborative satellite development projects with foreign firms and space agencies from countries such as China, France, South Korea, the United Kingdom and the United States, to obtain access to cutting-edge satellite technology, raise domestic engineering capabilities, and harness the broader socio-economic benefits of space engineering. CISTIPs can also be currently observed in other sectors such as nuclear power and high-speed rail. Canada has been increasingly involved in such partnerships.
While CISTIPs have become widespread, there has been little understanding of the underpinnings of such partnerships – e.g. what design and implementation approaches exist, how they fit (or do not fit) into traditional innovation policy or technology transfer patterns, or how to evaluate them in light of their complex goals and activities. This panel will present a theoretical framework to systematically analyze and design CISTIPs and better understand their roles within national science and innovation strategies. We will discuss implementation patterns and evaluation methods for CISTIPs based on emerging approaches from systems architecture, technology policy, science and technology studies, and network science. Several case studies of CISTIPs, including university partnerships and collaborative satellite development projects, will be presented to highlight successes and challenges in previous or ongoing CISTIPs. Finally, the panelists will draw conclusions about future directions for the current Canadian partnership programs and opportunities to create new partnerships to build innovation capacity in Canada.