The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme promotes international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. The Programme supports the establishment of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks in key priority areas related to UNESCO’s fields of competence. Today, 170 of the University Chairs included in the UNESCO/UNITWIN Chairs programme are related to Natural Sciences.
In many instances, the Networks and Chairs serve as think tanks and as bridge builders between academia, civil society, local communities, research and policy-making. In areas suffering from a dearth of expertise, Chairs and Networks have evolved into poles of excellence and innovation at the regional or sub-regional levels. They also contribute to strengthening North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation.