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The André Hoffmann Fellowships for the Fourth Industrial Revolution enable postdoctoral fellows interested in the intersection of technology, science, society and policy to take an active role in shaping the world of tomorrow by being embedded in the projects run by the World Economic Forum’s Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in San Francisco, California, USA.

The Center brings together governments, technology pioneers, business leaders, academic experts from leading universities and civil society representatives for dialogue and cooperation on the governance challenges and opportunities of advanced technologies. Drawing on the Forum’s global platform for interaction, insight and impact, the Center serves as a platform for public-private collaboration to develop and refine frameworks and protocols that more fully anticipate the risks and accelerate the social benefits of technology. It will serve as a “do tank” rather than a think tank.

The André Hoffmann Fellowships develop a crucial link between research in top higher education institutions and the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution’s governance policy pilots to benefit public-private collaboration on questions surrounding emerging technologies. This two-year fellowship programme is designed to draw on and enhance the academic and professional skills of an early career researcher by creating a unique opportunity to work across a broad range of disciplines to forge enduring solutions to the greatest challenges.

Hoffmann Fellows are in residence at the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution for the first year of their fellowship, and return to their home university for the second year. The Hoffmann Fellowship and its model of residency at two different institutions over two years will facilitate the development of strong links between the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the centre of excellence and/or researcher at the university. University leadership commits to enabling the academic supervisor and the Hoffmann Fellow to leverage the resources of the university in support of the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution project to which the Hoffmann Fellow is matched.

For 2018, five André Hoffmann Fellowships are offered, focusing on both environment and precision medicine. They will contribute to the following Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution projects:

1. Blockchain for scaling renewable energy – This project aims to incentivize the adoption of renewable energy sources by applying blockchain technologies to streamline markets for renewable energy certificates, while enhancing transparency and trust.

2. Weather data for resilient communities – Resilience to damaging losses from extreme weather events can be contingent on the availability of critical data to guide timely decision-making, as well as rapid deployment of recovery funds. This project aims to accelerate and scale up the adoption of novel instruments for data-sharing and new approaches to insurance.

3. Ocean innovations for sustainable fisheries – Better management of fisheries and combating illegal fishing can be accomplished through technology solutions, such as access to and integration of diverse data sources for monitoring the status and use of fish, as well as other ocean resources.

4. Breaking barriers to health data – Overcoming barriers to health data collection, access, utilization and sharing across borders can unlock the insight needed for improving diagnosis, disease treatment decisions, clinical trials, regulatory decisions and scientific research powering precision medicine.

5. Leapfrogging with precision medicine – There is now an opportunity to re-envision precision medicine for low-resource settings that can “leapfrog” developed-country capacity and infrastructure expectations. The right policy frameworks can enable these innovative approaches to be integrated into health systems to tackle public health challenges such as the rising rates of cancer in developing countries.

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