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The 11th Funding Agency Presidents’ Meeting

As part of the STS Forum, a major international science and technology conference held annually in Kyoto, JST in cooperation with German Research Foundation DFG hosted the 11th Funding Agency Presidents’ Meeting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was held online on 14 September 2021.

There were two topics for this year’s FAPM. The first topic dealt with how we as research funders can prepare for the next emergency. This item is related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has demonstrated that we need to be prepared for the unforeseeable. The second topic tackled the question of how to enable society to embrace emerging technologies. The meeting was attended by 49 funding organization representatives from 33 countries/regions.

The meeting was opened by Prof. Hiroshi Komiyama, the new chairman of the STS forum. Next, JST President Dr. Hamaguchi stressed during his opening remarks that knowledge acquired from our responses to the coronavirus is key to make our societies more resilient.

The first topic, “Preparing for the next emergency”, was introduced by DFG President Prof. Dr. Katja Becker and Dr. Marc Schiltz, Secretary General of the National Research Fund of Luxembourg (FNR), and President of Science Europe. The second topic, “Enabling society to embrace emerging technologies”, was introduced by Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Table discussions in small groups were held after each topic introduction on key questions with regards to preparing for the next global emergency (for the first topic) and preparing society, in particular the workforce, to deal with emerging technologies (for the second topic).

At the end of the meeting, table chairs presented a range of insights. For the first topic, one of the main conclusions was that we need to make funding mechanisms more flexible, all the while maintaining a balance between basic and targeted research. At the same time, collecting high-quality, real-time data and ensuring this data and knowledge is equally shared across the world was also emphasized. For the second topic, an often-heard remark was the need to involve citizens in developing new technologies. Also, it was noted that all science disciplines should be included, in particular social sciences and humanities, to study impacts on society due to technological change.

A full report can be accessed from:
FAPM website:
  • Floor view of the meeting

    Floor view of the meeting

  • DFG president Prof. Dr. Becker gives her closing remarks.

    DFG president Prof. Dr. Becker gives her closing remarks.

  • JST president Dr. Hamaguchi gives his closing remarks.

    JST president Dr. Hamaguchi gives his closing remarks.