Opportunities and challenges for research collaboration among the BRICS nations

Ihron Rensburg, Shireen Motala, Solomon Arulraj David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are considered an important economic grouping, given their tremendous recent economic expansion and, at least in some cases, their transition from relative stasis to dynamic growth. Though the five BRICS summit declarations focus on mutual economic and trade cooperation, there have also been considerable attempts to enhance research collaboration. This study attempts to map out research collaboration in BRICS using four measurable categories, namely, research capacity, research outputs, ranking and number of international collaborations. Based on this mapping study, the paper further explores the opportunities for and challenges to research collaboration among BRICS nations. It might seem premature to assess the result of BRICS cooperation, given its five-year history. However, the analysis of existing literature and other available data sources allow us to assume that language, financial commitment, inadequate regulatory frameworks and diverse interests are amongst the potential challenges. At the same time there are tremendous opportunities in research collaboration, which can contribute to the economic consolidation of BRICS. These include participating in BRICS priority research areas, making member countries attractive destinations for research, encouraging learning mobility and strengthening BRICS research capacities. Thus the paper provides a critical review of research collaboration in BRICS, and suggests how it might be further increased.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-818
Number of pages5
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2015


  • Brazil
  • China
  • India
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • collaborative research
  • potentials
  • research cooperation
  • risks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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