To foster the commitment of its scientific community to studying, deciphering and clarifying the major issues at stake for the common good surrounding new technologies, Sciences Po announced on 21 June the signing of a partnership agreement with the McCourt Institute Foundation. Through this partnership, Sciences Po becomes a founding partner of the new American research institute created by entrepreneur Frank McCourt and dedicated to the theme of "Tech for the Common Good".
The continuous and accelerated spread of technological innovations calls for an increase in academic research, particularly in the human and social sciences, in order to better understand, anticipate and act upon their impact on contemporary societies. Sciences Po and its historical partner Georgetown University will mobilize their professors, PhDs, researchers and scholars to conduct interdisciplinary research on the use and development of new technologies for the common good.
“Making technology work for society is one of the biggest challenges humanity faces. It is time to reset technology: how it is designed, developed and leveraged. It should not be a vehicle to benefit a select few, but an engine for the common good. I'm launching the McCourt Institute with this mission at the center. I am proud to have Sciences Po as a founding partner as they bring a track record of demonstrable results in advancing society,” said Frank McCourt.
$25 million over 10 years for fully independent social science research
As part of this partnership, Sciences Po will receive a grant of $25 million over 10 years to support the development of new scientific work conducted by its community of researchers. The grant will fund annual or multi-year research projects on topics related to "Tech for the common good," particularly on public policy and ethical and legal issues.
The grant, validated by the Sciences Po Donations Committee, will be the subject of an agreement signed between the FNSP, the McCourt Institute Foundation and the Sciences Po American Foundation, which guarantees the total independence of the researchers' research work with respect to the various projects carried out by the donor, in particular in the choice of research protocols and publication of results.
A partnership with Georgetown University
The academic partnership with Georgetown University will begin on June 22, with a working seminar in Paris between the two universities on the rue Saint Guillaume campus.
The research projects conducted and financed within the framework of the McCourt Institute will be selected by a steering committee based at Sciences Po, which will meet twice a year.
Composed of members of Sciences Po’s leadership, of the Sciences Po American Foundation, of the McCourt Institute Foundation, of Georgetown University and of scientific experts, this committee will submit high-impact academic projects from all areas of research at Sciences Po.