Leloğlu, U.M. (2021). Scientific collaboration along the Silk Road. Belt & Road Initiative Quarterly, 2(2), 46-57.


The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an immense development program announced by the Chinese government in late 2013, which knitted around trade routes. Since scientific and technological cooperation is an integral part of BRI, the Alliance of International Science Organizations (ANSO) was established in 2018 as a non-governmental organization. In this work, conditions for effective cooperation in science and technology among countries are discussed first. Then, the research ecosystem's current situation is analyzed in terms of the number of scientific articles and trends while some results from the literature on international collaboration patterns are reviewed. Considering the current situation, scientific cooperation mechanisms are reviewed, and it is argued that ANSO can serve as a networking tool or seed for a future organization and that an inter-governmental body is necessary for the long run. After a short comparison with the Framework Programmes of the European Union, basic principles on which such a body should be established are discussed. A  “fair return” principle, availability of flexible contribution options and, simplified bureaucratic procedures are proposed. Mechanisms to avoid the creation of a dominant core that can cause a brain drain in the long term are also recommended following the balanced and inclusive spirit of BRI. Then, a set of criteria is proposed for the choice of cooperation areas, and the research areas suggested in the literature are discussed under the light of these criteria.

Keywords:  Belt and Road Initiative, innovation, inter-governmental organizations, science policy, scientific collaboration




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