February 3, 2015

Israel's Grand Challenges initiative on Sunday for the first time awarded ten Israeli innovators with grants of up to NIS 500,000 for projects that tackle tough issues in the developing world.

Making the case for an economic return on investment in science can be difficult, but space exploration drives innovative thought and pushes the government and industry to develop new technologies, many of which ultimately find their way into the consumer market, according to a comprehensive study of the US space program by the National Research Council. And continued US leadership in space is a useful demonstration of soft power, the NRC found.

"Education and cultural diplomacy is the only way forward to strengthen relationship between the SAARC countries. We should, therefore, like to have focused university to university linkages between our countries for mutual capacity building in education, research technology and innovation," Irani said.

The private sector, innovation and the Asia-Pacific region will be the main focus of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop's "new approach" to foreign aid. Ms Bishop announced the policy on Wednesday during a speech at the National Press Club, with the focus on economic partnerships, rather than a "donor-recipient" top-down approach to aid. The changes will come in the form of a new innovation hub at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra.

The seventh session of the World Urban Forum, started Saturday, is set to discuss a wide range of urban issues facing the world today inColombia’s second largest city and 2013′s most innovative city of the year, Medellin.

In early February, 7 USC Master of Public Diplomacy students embarked for São Paulo, Brazil. We arrived with just a day to get acclimated to the city before our meetings began on Monday. As students of diplomacy, the logical choice for a research trip to Brazil might be Brasilia. As the capital, it hosts the country's diplomatic corps and would certainly make a worthy case study of how diplomacy works in Brazil. While traditional diplomacy will always be worth pursuing, we are not going to Brazil to study it.