The Secretariat of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) (https://www.acu.ac.uk) convened a meeting of its core staff to discover the RFI and discuss its potential use as a tool by the Secretariat and / or to recommend to its membership of over 500 universities worldwide. The 1.5 hour meeting was attended by 8 staff and senior management for whom this was the first exposure to the RFI. The ACU also acts as coordinator of the CAASTNET Plus programme, an EU funded programme to improve policy debate between the African Union and European Union. (http://www.cta.int/en/
article/2013-06-02/caastnet- plus.html) CAASTNET Plus has adopted the RFI as a major tool to improve research collaborations. For the ACU, the RFI and the experiences of CAASTNET Plus seemed to provide great relevance to their own mission and areas of focus – specifically their work on Open Science (https://www.acu.ac.uk/focus- areas/open-science/) and on Research Management and Uptake (https://www.acu.ac.uk/focus- areas/research-management- uptake/). With the imminent change in leadership at the ACU, the RFI will be presented as a possible major tool to help ACU achieve its worldwide goals to the coming years.
One participant stated: I am not surprised by the remark made in your earlier meeting today at UKCDS : “that it is actually amazing that you present us with a mechanism that focuses on 15 areas of partnership – and I can not disagree with any one of them.” I have exactly the same impression – the RFI touches many areas where the ACU is focusing its efforts.”