Project in Europe 2003-2005
The emigration of skilled people from South-East Europe grew to worrying rates in the 1990s.
Higher education and research institutions were particularly affected and it was anticipated that weakening research would negatively impact national capacities.
To help the region address these issues, UNESCO and HP joined forces in 2003 to leverage technological and financial resources so that young scientists could remain in the region, working on joint research projects together with nationals in the Diaspora.
Starting on a small scale, with five institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia, the project was later extended to two other universities from Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The UNESCO Office in Venice offered expertise in scientific research, knowledge of the region and coordinated the implementation of the project, while HP provided funding, state of the art IT equipment and technical expertise.
Young scientists at participating universities were able to link up with fellow nationals abroad through a grid-enabled IT platform. In some cases, the universities were able to bid for public and private sector-funded research projects, thus encouraging scientists to stay at home to continue their research.
An assessment of this initiative in 2006 showed that the project successfully contributed to enhancing scientific cooperation and improving research capabilities. UNESCO and HP therefore decided to continue this initiative in other regions suffering from the exodus of academics.