Global Collaborative Research
“Scientific research is one of the most exciting and rewarding of occupations.” — Frederick Sanger
Science is an important part of our society. It helps us understand how our world works and aid in ensuring humanity’s survival. Scientific research is usually divided into two classifications: applied research and basic research. Basic research seeks to understand the world and universe; while applied research seek to help improve human life. The focus of research has shifted from basic research to science that aims to solve global challenges.
Global challenges are just that, global. They extend beyond borders and disciplines, making collaborative science research critical to solve issues. Many of these global challenges are a part of the Sustainable Development Goals, also known as Agenda 2030, put forth by the United Nations. Global challenges include improving human health, availability of clean water, sustainable energy, combating climate change, and more.
Shift in the Focus of Scientific Research
With the focus shifting to applied scientific research to solve global issues, it is understandable that science would shift to be more collaborative. The key to solving these large scale global challenges may reside in global collaborative science. This collaboration will include multiple different scientific disciplines and research institutions across the world.
Benefits of Collaborative Global Science
Collaborative science research has many advantages, an important one being the ability to share and exchange resources. It can also help build alliances between various research teams: academic, government, and private industry. These alliances can carry into other science departments, allowing multiple research groups from different disciplines to work on a single scientific project. In addition, scientists collaborating with other facilities or laboratories may have access to vital equipment they may not have had otherwise.
Challenges of Global Collaborative Science
Unfortunately, there are challenges to global collaborative science and collaborative science in general. Key challenges include: cultural and religious differences, funding and resource differences, technical or national secrets, communication, language barriers, cost and export control. Some of these challenges are social and are harder to address, but several of the other challenges can be solved through collaborative software and procedures. For instance, there are several tools that can help simplify the collaboration process.
Tools for Collaborative Research
There are multiple laboratory information management systems (LIMS) that allow for cloud collaboration. This type of software that can help researchers manage their projects, share files, view project data, control access and manage inventory. These programs can help address the challenges of communication and management. They may even help with funding and resource challenges: if researchers can have access to the resources and data from larger, more well-funded laboratories.
Limited resources, cost and export control can be addressed using software, like eShipLab. Research often has timelines that they need to stick to due to limited access to resources or equipment. Delays in shipping or not being able to directly share resources with connected laboratories, can be both time consuming and costly. eShipLab allows for easy and compliant shipping between labs. This can allow labs to share resources easier and reduce the risk of shipping delays. Both of which can help reduce cost.
Future of Scientific Research
The world of science is already becoming more and more international. Many research teams consist of scientists and academics from around the world. The next step to these multinational teams is international research projects. With the world becoming more and more interconnected through the internet and global challenges become more pressing, there will be an increased need for collaborative research on an international level.
Your Call to Action
Improve your research institution’s collaboration with eShipLab. eShipLab allows you to hazardous materials and dangerous goods simply and compliantly. In addition, our software can allow for multiple connected research labs to ship resources between each other for a more collaborative system. To hear how eShipLab can improve your research institution, contact us at (972) 518-1775 using extension 116.
By: Ashleigh Cue