SEMINAR: Research and Innovation Addressing Societal Challenges

  • House of Sweden

    House of Sweden Photo: Ron Blunt

Meet the Academic Sweden! On Thursday, October 26, the Embassy of Sweden is hosting a seminar with five leading Swedish universities: Umeå University, Uppsala University, Stockholm University, University of Gothenburg and Lund University. Sweden has a long tradition of research and innovation working in harmony with a culture of creativity. Our world faces challenges that we are only beginning to comprehend, and to ensure a prosperous future we need new ideas and creative people.

This event will highlight three challenges. You are welcome to attend the whole day or individual segments.

• Cancer – How can high quality basic science and translational research, biobanking, registers and clinical research help to meet future needs in cancer management?
• Sustainable Development – How can we chart consistent and effective pathways to sustainability, from choices made at a local level to impacts felt globally?
• Towards inclusive labor markets and societies in the age of migration – What is the role of organization, coordination, efficiency, improvement in labor market integration of refugees and other marginalized groups have?

During the seminar, you will meet representatives from Swedish universities and can discuss potential academic collaborations.


REGISTER FOR THE EVENT HERE!
You are welcome to attend the whole day or individual segments.


PROGRAM

09:30 am - Registration
10:00 am - Welcome Remarks by Ambassador of Sweden to the United States Karin Olofsdotter
10:10 am - Keynote by Dr. Rush Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

10:30 am - Part 1: Contributions to Cancer Research Collaboration and Cancer Moonshot Initiatives
How can translational research, biobanking and registers meet future needs in oncology? Discussion topics will include precision oncology for improved and effective outcome and the Swedish life science innovation process as a reason for collaboration and investment in research and start-ups.

12:00 noon
 - Lunch

1:00 pm - Keynote by Dr. James Olds, Assistant Director for Biological Sciences, National Science Foundation (NSF)

1:20 pm - Part 2: Sustainable Development - From Local Choices to Global Impacts

Local actions for Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals may lead to synergies but also to inadvertent effects across sectors, countries and world regions. How do local resource choices affect global water, food and energy security in areas already experiencing urbanization and climate change? How can research chart consistent and effective cross-border pathways to global sustainability?

2:40 pm - Coffee break

3:00 pm - Part 3: Towards inclusive labor markets and societies in the age of migration
Constraints and promises. How is organization, social relations, culture or economic factors important? How can inclusive societies be produced and maintained in the age of migration? What are the examples around the world and in Sweden? How can ethnic discrimination in the labor market and in society be confronted in a climate of faltering willingness to receive immigrants? 

4:15 pm - Closing Remarks by Sweden’s Minister for Enterprise and Innovation
Mr. Mikael Damberg

4:25-5:15 pm - Reception

Welcome to an exciting day with Swedish research, higher education and innovation!


More information about each segment below:

Part 1: Collaboration with Sweden on Cancer Research and the Cancer Moonshot Initiatives?

Cancer represents a critical challenge in a near-future where rates may increase by as much as 30% due to a rapidly aging population. Although words such as “personalized” or “precision” oncology give hope, common practice doesn’t reveal the situation as of today
where “one fits all” is too common. Furthermore, cancer types with grim prognoses, high mortality and enormous economic impact remain with us. Such categories (with five-year survival rates under 20%) must be targeted and outcomes improved.

During this session we will present challenges of tomorrow where cancer research and Cancer Moonshot initiatives may make a difference. In doing so, we will address various dimensions of the cancer challenge, discuss specific disease areas, and illustrate
approaches using precision-medicine, and consider the economic realities involved.

We will touch on the overall cancer scenario, the importance of sensible Health Economics and appropriate research spending ratios, the benefits from tailored types of diagnosis and treatment, and some specific focus areas such as gastrointestinal and lung cancer. We
also aim to profile the advantages of the Swedish life science innovation process, which makes Sweden an extremely attractive place to collaborate or invest in research and start-ups. Finally, we hope to launch a novel Cancer Moonshot initiative.

Detailed agenda

Introduction – Improving future outcome in cancer:

Professor Sylvia Schwaag Serger, Ph.D., Director International Strategy, Vinnova, Stockholm

Cancer Keynote – Cancer Moonshot and Cancer Moonshot initiatives – improving outcome in cancer management
Dr. Edward Trimble, M.D., M.P.H., Director, National Cancer Institute (NCI), Center for Global Health

The challenge – How to cope with future cancer management
Professor Roland Andersson, Ph.D., M.D., Vice-Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University

Why Sweden?
An inquisitive, receptive society with a high-standard of basic and translational research
Professor Per Ljungdahl, Ph.D., Stockholm University
Prospective biobanking in cancer; early detection, estimating prognosis and predicting outcome
Professor Malin Sund, Ph.D., M.D., Umeå University, Swedish Cancer Society
Swedish registries, golden opportunity for outcome and translational research
Professor Lars Holmberg, Ph.D., M.D., Uppsala University
Translational research in development of new cancer treatments
Professor Jonas Nilsson, Ph.D., University of Gothenburg
The Swedish Innovation System
Professor Sylvia Schwaag Serger, Vinnova

Unmet needs in future oncology
Patient’s and researcher´s perspectives:
Professor Roland Andersson, Lund University
Oncology - therapeutics perspectives:
Dr. Amadou Diarra, Ph.D., Head of Global Policy, Advocacy and Government Affairs, Bristol-Myers Squibb

Panel discussion
How to cope with future demands in cancer management? Benefits of collaboration with Sweden? Examples of cancer initiatives for collaboration

Moderated by:  Professor Sylvia Schwaag Serger, Vinnova and Dr. Edward Trimble, NCI

Panel participants:
Dr. Mitchell R. Smith, Ph.D Associate Center Director, George Washington University Cancer Center
Dr. Amadou Diarra, Bristol -Myers Squibb,
Professor Jan-Ingvar Jönsson, Ph.D., Secretary General, Swedish Research Council (TBC)
Professor Per Ljungdahl, Stockholm University
Professor Jonas Nilsson, University of Gothenburg
Professor Malin Sund, Umeå University, Swedish Cancer Society
Professor Roland Andersson, Lund University
Professor Lars Holmberg, Uppsala University

Part 2: Sustainable Development - From Local Choices to Global Impacts

After years of negotiations and debate, Agenda 2030 of the United Nations has been formulated and agreed on, seeking to meet 17 bold and ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for all countries. A mantra for reaching the SDGs is to take local action for
global impacts, with the latter seen as the sum of numerous local decisions towards sustainability. However, local choices also have indirect impacts beyond their targeted sectors (i.e., not only within but also across e.g. water, food, energy resource systems) as well as beyond the geographical jurisdiction of each local decision maker. Both synergies and inadvertent effects (constraints, suboptimal solutions, inequitable large-scale and long-term outcomes) may then result from some chosen local pathways towards sustainability.

This panel discusses key questions on sustainability impacts of local actions across sectors, countries and world regions, such as:
How do local resource choices affect global water, food and energy security under urbanization and climate change?
• How can research chart consistent and effective cross-border pathways to global sustainability?

Moderated by: Helen Mountford, Director of Economics and Program Director for the New Climate Economy, World Resources Institute
(WRI)

Speakers:
Georgia Destouni, Professor of Hydrology, Hydrogeology and Water Resources, Stockholm University
Per Knutsson, Associate Professor in Human Ecology, School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg
Torsten Krause, Associate Senior Lecturer, Director of Studies, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, Lund University
Magdalena Kuchler, Associate Senior Lecturer, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, Uppsala University
Peter Sköld, Professor and Director Arctic Research Centre, Umeå University

Part 3: Towards inclusive labor markets and societies in the age of migration

Migration has increased over the past years and recent immigrants’ inclusion in the labor market and society is often described as one of the most pressing concerns of Western countries. Subsequent calls have been made for the reformulation of national and local policies and support programs to deal with this concern. In particular, the “integration” of refugees and other marginalized groups into the labor market is seen as a difficult objective to reach, because of economic, political, social, cultural and institutional barriers in the new
host country. Moreover, concerns are voiced that the inflows of refugees and other immigrants will alter the existing labor composition and supply, influencing a wide range of realities such as economic growth, social welfare, political power and values.

This panel discusses the following key questions related to the inclusion of refugees and other marginalized groups into the labor market in their country of residence:
• What does/should “integration” mean in the first place? Who is, or should be, “integrated”, and into what? What different understandings exist about the meaning of “integration”?
• What happened last night in Sweden? Development of migration patterns to Sweden and changes in labor market inclusion.
• How can inclusive societies be produced and maintained in the age of migration? What are the examples from around the world, including Sweden? What are the constraints and promises? How are organizations, social relations, culture or economic factors
important?

Moderated by: Meghan Benton, Senior Policy Analyst; Assistant Director for Research, International Program, Migration Policy Institute, Washington DC.

Speakers:
Andreas Diedrich, Associate Professor of Management and Organization Studies, Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI), University of Gothenburg
Mine Islar, Associate Senior Lecturer, Center for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS), and Project Director, Transdisciplinary Approach to Migration Research, Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies, Lund University
Susanne Urban, Associate Professor, the Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University
Dr. Ahmad Ezzeddine, Ph.D. Associate Vice President Educational Outreach and International Programs, Wayne State University

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