Digital Science and International Cooperation: new opportunities for digitally enabled AU-EU ICT research collaboration

Dr Erich Prem1, Jonathan Arthur2

1Eutema, Vienna, Austria,
2Intersect, Sydney, Australia

The massive trend towards the internationalization of research is changing both the global and local landscapes of research (Adams 2014, OECD 2008, Wagner et al. 2015). An expanding set of digital tools and an improving and globally accessible digital infrastructure facilitate international cooperation. Digitization has not only changed business practices and many aspects of everyday life; it is also affecting scientific processes. Scientists in all disciplines have quickly adopted new digital means and formats used for discussing scientific theories, disseminating results of their work, acquiring funding and collaborating across institute boundaries (Anderson et al. 2005, Mackenzie Owen 2007).

This increased digitization of science is also changing the relation of science and society – and science policy. The boundaries of what is to be considered a national research policy is much less clearer today than it was only a decade ago. Policy makers interested in sustaining national competitiveness are faced with large multinational players – in academia and industry – who opportunistically source research and innovation globally. On the other hand, digitization of research is opening science not just for scientists, but also for a global public. This not only enables access to scientific publications, but also goes much further in making available data, software, even infrastructure together with instructional videos and tutorials. It has been argued that this is a transformative step for scientific knowledge from being a club good to a truly public good (Prem 2015). eResearch and the digitization of science therefore need to be put in the context of international collaboration in research and beyond.

The European Commission has recently proposed to start negotiations of a free trade agreement with Australia. This may provide new opportunities including those in accessing e-infrastructure, databases, satellite data sources, and more generally for cooperation with European researchers in academia and industry. This workshop is organized by EPIC – Europe’s ICT research and innovation partnership with Australia with the aim to discuss the following questions:

  1. What is the role of eResearch, e-Infrastructures and digital science in international research cooperation? Do we have the right tools or are we missing important components?
  • What are the Australian interests in Europe’s eResearch and digital science facilities and how could European researchers benefit from Australian eResearch resources?
  • What will be necessary next steps in improving EU/AU cooperation in digital research, especially in the area of ICT? What is needed from Europe’s and Australian research policy makers?
  • What are the new and most promising innovation opportunities arising from strengthened partnership between Europe and Australia?


This half-day workshop aims to define the necessary next steps to devise a roadmap for improved European-Australian collaboration in ICT research and innovation. Australian and European experts will discuss current challenges and forthcoming opportunities in 1-2 panels with the workshop participants. Contributions are welcome and should be sent to one of the coordinators by August 31.

The workshop will be held in close interaction with participants to collect a broad range of inputs. Panel experts will provide short input statements and discuss contributions from the participants.


  • researchers in digital science, e-Infrastructure and eResearch
  • ICT researchers interested in international cooperation
  • stakeholders interested in furthering Australia’s research cooperation with the European Union
  • research policy makers and agencies supporting eResearch and international research cooperation



560. Adams (2013) The fourth age of research. In: Nature, Vol. 497, pp. 557-560.

Anderson, Cokie; Bremholm, Tony; Hemminger, Bradley; Brown, Cecelia; Vaughan, K.T. (2005), The impact of digitization of scientific information on the scholarly communication of scientists. Proceedings of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Vol. 40 (1).

Mackenzie Owen, John (2007), The Scientific Article in the Age of Digitization. Springer, Dordrecht, NL.OECD (2008) The internationalisation of business R&D. Evidence, impacts, and implications. OECD.

Erich Prem, ICT and science 2.0: technology-mediated trends and characteristics of new scientific practices. Proc. 15th International Conference on Knowledge Technologies and Data-Driven Business, ACM, 2015.

C.S. Wagner, H.W. Park, L. Leydesdorff (2015) The continuing growth of global cooperation networks in research: a conundrum for national governments. In: PLoS ONE 10(7): e0131816.


Dr. Erich Prem is chief RTI strategy advisor and CEO of eutema GmbH. He is a regular coordinator of international research projects, evaluator of RTD projects for the European Commission and an experienced programme manager of funding programmes.

Erich Prem is a certified managerial economist and works scientifically in artificial intelligence, research politics, innovation research and epistemology. He published more than 70 scientific papers and was a guest researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his Dr. phil. (epistemology) from thte University of Vienna, his from TU Vienna where he also completed his master in computer science (Dipl.Ing). He was a lecturer at TU Vienna’s Informatics Innovation Center. He received his MBA in General Management from Donau University.