We, the Science Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and the European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, met in Venaria on September 28th, for the Ministerial meeting hosted by the Italian Presidency during the G7 Innovation Week. In this meeting, we discussed how our nations could lead efforts to realise the benefits and meet the new global challenges posed to the scientific community by the Next Production Revolution (NPR). The NPR brings unparalleled opportunities to advance not only the means of production of goods and services, but also the ways in which knowledge is generated and exploited.
Science will be at the heart of delivering the NPR. Against this background, we discussed
a set of possible common actions and areas of cooperation, to create the conditions for our researchers at all career stages to provide their best possible contribution to the advancement of knowledge in crucial domains for future prosperity and sustainability.
Research has never been as important and relevant, as it is now. We are at a unique moment in time where the many different technologies that characterise the NPR – from artificial intelligence, nanotechnologies, new materials and genetics to life sciences and various branches of ICT, including big data and data science - are converging in a way that will transform production and society as a whole.
In all these areas public investments in research has played a key role, with many important breakthroughs coming from basic science with applications that were not initially foreseen. This has led to greater access to better health care systems, greater life expectancy and security, more opportunities for social interaction and more wide spread diffusion of many technologies, amongst others. Mindful of the need to foster inclusive growth, we are determined to ensure that scientific and technological advancement is put to the benefit of the entire society and of each citizen.
During the Taormina G7 Summit, the Heads of States approved the Action Plan “G7 People-Centered Action Plan on Innovation, Skills and Labour”, that puts science, research and innovation at the center of the common political agenda, identifying a set of priorities that provides the general framework within which our discussion unfolded. These are: human capital formation, financing policies and mechanisms, and global research infrastructures.
Today, in recognition of the crucial role that science has to play in the NPR, we approved
a statement that moves from the priorities identified by the Taormina Summit and offers to the G7 for consideration a set of specific policy guidelines aimed at translating such priorities into concrete actions.