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An Open Letter to the UN Secretary General from the Advanced & Frontier Material Thought leaders

The letter orchestrated by AMPT and signed by over a thousand scientists, industry leaders and Frontier Material stakeholders, urges Secretary Guterres to convene a strategic forum of dialogue and action for material science responding to complex global challenges.

The letter remains open for signature until 29 April 2021.

Open Letter | January 2021

His Excellency Mr. Antonio Guterres Secretary-General                          

United Nations Headquarters                                                                                                

New York City

Dear Mr. Secretary-General,

‍Our world is grappling with crisis and suffering of unaccounted magnitude. As a global fellowship of material scientists, engineers, thought leaders and innovators, we call for urgency, action and unity in creation of a global future preparedness infrastructure that would enable and mobilize the international material science and engineering community to better respond to global health emergencies and future threats to humankind.

‍Mr. Secretary-General, we embrace your words spoken earlier this year; “This is a time for science and solidarity.”  We respectfully request further action and ask for your urgent help to convene a virtual gathering of governments, academia, private industry, and other thought leaders to better understand the role of science and engineering in rapid crisis response and to shape national and international agendas that can facilitate and expedite science-based innovation at critical times such as these.

Your leadership during this pandemic and your call for “Trust in science, institutions and in one another” must be heeded and transformed into action and we stand ready to participate and share our collective thoughts and expertise.

We the undersigned embrace the following three axioms

I. Material science and engineering are crucial in responding to global challenges such as Covid-19. The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations shed light on the interconnectivity of the challenges our world is facing and the intertwined nature of the methodologies we need to deploy to address these challenges. From tackling climate change, increased demand in energy, to challenges with transportation, connectivity, food and water supply and health emergencies such as the current pandemic; material science & engineering play a pivotal role and need to be further enabled to provide the multi-functional tools we need for solving challenges of humanity.

II. Science knows no boundaries and borders. Complex global challenges such as pandemics can only be mitigated by embracing innovative approaches enabled by collaborative science. Transcending territories, politics, ideologies, cultures, and scientific disciplines, we must come together, learn from each other, and respect the science-based knowledge created by one another.  Only through international dialogue and partnership across domains, sectors, geographies, and academic disciplines will we create a shared global strategy and vision to develop scientific solutions to combat the current and future world crises.

III. This is time for action and change . The momentum fueled by the current pandemic must be transformed into building a new shared vision: a problem-driven, international framework for science to respond swiftly and effectively to global challenges. However, the development and implementation of such infrastructure requires governments and policymakers across the world to work together to reform and introduce policies that enable cross-country exchange of ideas, resources, and funding of collaborative science to respond to global crises.  

Mr. Secretary-General, we request your urgent call to action by convening a UN-sanctioned effort so that our community may assist others in a global, solution oriented process. As a committed fellowship of material scientists, innovators and stakeholders who have convened across borders, cultures, and disciplines, we offer to work collectively and collaboratively through this crisis and the next. We stand together to co-create a future where science can fulfill its true potential in solving global challenges at the service of society and humanity.

With our sincerest regards,

Dr. Zina Jarrahi Cinker, AMPT Director General


Sir Konstantin Novoselov | Nobel Laureate in Physics , Professor at University of Singapore

Alba Vergés i Bosch | Minister of Health of Catalonia

Dr. Martin F.H. Schuurmans | Founding Chairman of European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), Netherlands

Dr. Antonio Castro Neto | Director of CA2DM Center at University of Singapore

Dr. Philip Kim | Professor at Harvard university, USA

Dr. Andrea Ferrari | Director of Cambridge Graphene Centre, University of Cambridge, UK

Dr. Yury Gogotsi | Director of Nanomaterials Institute | Drexel University, USA

Dr. Matthew Fisher | Buckley Prize laureate, Professor at University of California Santa Barbara, USA

John Hoffman | CEO at GSMA, US

Dr. Frank Koppens | Group Leader at ICFO, Spain

Dr. Bonaventura Clotet | Head of Infectious Disease at HUGTiP, Spain

James Baker | CEO at [email protected], University of Manchester, UK

Dr. Luis Torner | Founder and Director at ICFO, Spain

Dr. Kari Hjelt | Head of Innovation at Graphene Flagship, Sweden

Dr. Jiaxing Huang | Professor at Northwestern University, USA

Dr. Ahmed Busnaina | Director of NSF Nanoscale Science at Northeastern University, USA

Erik Gatenholm | CEO at Celink Corporation, Sweden

Giulio Cesareo | CEO Directa Plus, Italy

Dr. Carlo Iorio | CEO YSBC, Belgium

Dr. Deji Akinwande | Professor at University of Texas Austin, USA

Dr. Hailin Peng | Professor at Peking University, China

Dr. Norman Tolk | Professor at Vanderbilt University, USA

Luca Venza | Founder of BTTG at IESE Business School, Barcelona

Yichun Li | Secretary General of China Innovation Alliance of the Graphene Industry, China

Yan Hui | Chairman at Mianyang Maxwell Science & Technology, China

A‍nd hundreds of other global thought leaders

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The letter remains open for signature until 29 April 2021. All international stakeholders from academia, industry, scientific organizations, associations and societies are welcome to join. To sign click here