Research & Innovation 2015-16 - Page 126

Thought leader
The International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU), established in 2006, is a network of 11 international research-intensive
universities from nine countries across the globe. IARU members work together to address the major challenges of our time, providing
opportunities to students and staff and promoting joint projects at various levels between member universities.
IARU universities
Australian National University
University of California, Berkeley
University of Oxford
ETH Zurich
University of Cambridge
University of Tokyo
National University of Singapore
University of Cape Town
Yale University
Peking University
University of Copenhagen
the specialist treating the condition believed in them
or not. But it is not a pressing issue in the global north,
where TB pericarditis is a relatively rare condition. It
took a South African – Professor Bongani Mayosi, dean
of the Faculty of Health Sciences – to put the issue on
the table, and institutions from seven African countries
teamed up in an effort to solve the problem. Halfway
through the trial, the Canadian Institutes of Health
Research stepped in, which allowed them to leverage
further funding and complete the trial.
Building three-way partnerships between UCT, a partner
in the global north and another from the global south
has become a successful strategy for us
that could work equally well for
others. Such trilateral partnerships
– specifically mentioned in
the targets of SDG 17 – can
take a bit of midwifery to
set up, but they repay the
effort with dividends.
For instance, in climate
adaptation research,
UCT is leading research
projects collaborating with
African research partners
such as the universities of Namibia, Botswana,
Ghana and Addis Ababa, as well as with overseas
research institutes including the University of East
Anglia, University of Oxford, the UK Meteorological
Office, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological
Institute and California’s Lawrence Livermore National
Laboratory. Each of these partners brings something
unique and valuable. The African partners bring
expertise and southern hemisphere perspectives
on social and environmental issues, and provide
opportunities for comparative case studies across the
continent. The European and US partners bring stateof-the-art climate computing resources and expertise.
As with the IMPI trial, African investigators need
to apply the best scientific methods to local
problems, they need to collaborate with
one another to achieve the scale required
to answer these questions in a definitive
manner, and link up with centres of
excellence elsewhere in the world.
Professor Danie Visser is the deputy
vice-chancellor for research and

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