Last week a delegation from the Young Academy participated in the South African – Sweden Research and Innovation week in Pretoria.

Young Academy of Sweden at SASUF Photo: Young Academy of Sweden

The Swedish delegation: Chair Kristian Pietras, Sanna Koskiniemi, Marie Wiberg, Katarina Wadstein MacLeod and CEO Anna Wetterbom. Photo: Young Academy of Sweden

The conference was the first event organized by the South African Sweden University Forum (SASUF), a strategic internationalization project running from 2017-2020 with the overall aim of strengthening ties between Sweden and South Africa in research, education and innovation. SASUF is a collaboration between 30 universities in Sweden and South Africa together with embassies, civil society organizations, funding agencies and ministries in both countries.

Kristian Pietras, Ann Fust Photo: Young Academy of Sweden
Anna Wetterbom Photo: Young Academy of Sweden

1. Kristian Pietras (the Academy's Chair) and Ann Fust (Executive Director of the Swedish Research Council) at the gala dinner on the last day of the conference. 2. Anna Wetterbom (the Academy's CEO) speaking about the Swedish R&D system during the plenary session. Click to enlarge. Photo: Young Academy of Sweden

The Young Academy had the privilege to be invited as part of the Swedish delegation and participated in several panel sessions where research funders and university managements discussed social innovation and societal impact of research, as well as how to organize and fund bilateral collaborations. As part of the conference programme we co-hosted on the theme How may countries support young scientists?

The conference was also a great opportunity for us to meet again with the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) and develop ideas on further collaboration on e.g. science diplomacy and outreach. As SASUF is a three year project we see great opportunities to continue to work within this framework.


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Kristian Pietras, Ann Fust Photo: Young Academy of Sweden
Anna Wetterbom Photo: Young Academy of Sweden