The workshop provided an opportunity for in-depth discussions on the status of current research and development in the three target sectors, identified priorities and steps to build Nepalese institutional capacity, and identified means to strengthen research and education collaborations between U.S. and Nepalese institutions. The suggested action items, applicable to all three sectors, summarized below under each specific objective of the workshop:
1. Develop human competencies in the three sectors with the joint involvement of U.S. and Nepalese academic institutions:
- Establish short-term student/scholar exchange programs, joint graduate-level education programs, and applied research projects. Each of the programs will include the participation of graduate students and faculty from both the U.S. and Nepalese academic institutions.
- Develop outreach programs for government agents, managers, operators, and the general public.
2. Identify capacity gaps between the academic and private sectors:
- Train students and researchers on methods and best practices for understanding societal needs as well as on practical processes and pathways for commercializing research outcomes in the form of products and services.
- Establish research, education and innovation facilities at Nepalese academic institutions to facilitate translation of technology.
- Develop capacity in Nepalese academic institutions to provide technical services for private sectors and communities.
3. Identify opportunities for collaboration between U.S. and Nepalese academic institutions:
- Develop joint proposals for projects, programs, and Centers of Excellence with a focus on capacity building in the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. The target funding agencies for these proposals will be USAID, US DOS, USNSF, private foundations, and other international agencies.
- Develop mechanisms and the atmosphere for experts and students from different disciplines (e.g., medical doctors, scientists and engineers) to collaborate to solve societal problems (e.g., in healthcare).
- Develop channels for gathering and curating societal challenges and opportunities in the three sectors to support applied research, education, and innovation, with a focus on empowering women, marginalized communities, and addressing sustainability and impacts on climate change.
4. Develop greater insight about the target sectors
- Apply holistic and system engineering approaches to inform and develop next-generation integrated sustainable solutions at the nexus of food, energy, water, and health.