By: Lee McIntire, Chief Executive Officer
International cooperation is critical to TerraPower’s work in commercializing the next generation of nuclear technologies. The election of TerraPower’s chairman, Bill Gates, to the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) underscores the spirit of international teamwork that TerraPower embraces. He is one of the 18 non-Chinese academicians added to the esteemed institution this past year. This great honor represents recognition of his years of innovation in science, business and technology.
Global exchanges and cooperation contribute to world-class engineering assets. Research by Caroline Wagner presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science showed that number of multiple-author scientific papers with collaborators from more than one country more than doubled from 1990 to 2015, from 10 to 25 percent. And 58 more countries participated in international research in 2015 than did so in 1990.
Findings show that the scope of international collaboration also correlates positively to impact. While homogeneous teams may generate harmonious discussions, they rarely produce breakthrough ideas. Diversity fosters greater awareness of the assumptions and short-cuts that can intercept success.
Progress on protecting the planet requires more than blueprints. Sustainable solutions require trusted relationships. In building a network of trusted partners over the last decade, TerraPower has proven the value of this approach. We’ve hurdled obstacle after obstacle by setting them up as audacious goals and building expert teams to tackle them. That is how we’ve moved ahead on isotopes and chemistry, fuels and materials, safety and subsystems.