Euro-Arab Research Network launched in UAE

30 March 2001 - The Director-General of UNESCO was among dignataries attending the opening of the Euro-Arab Research Network centre at Ajman University of Science and Technology (AUST) in the United Arab Emirates last week. The centre was formally inaugurated on 20 March by His Highness Sheikh Humaid bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, Ruler of Ajman.

The Euro-Arab Research Network is the fruit of the combined efforts of the National Commission for UNESCO and AUST. Of the 16 participating universities, nine are Arab and seven European.

The overriding goal of the Network is to strengthen capacity in strategic scientific disciplines. By linking projects and programmes in the participating universities, the aim is to foster joint research and an exchange of experiences, expertise, information and data. Scholarships and fellowships will enable teaching and research staff to move between universities. And, in addition to fostering cooperation in research and training, the Network will provide a framework within which to mobilize essential funding and link up to existing regional and international networks.

The Euro-Arab Research Network will initially concentrate on coastal zone management, marine science and ecology, water resources, the environment, energy, biotechnology and health. Through UNESCO, it is planned to create centres of excellence within these fields.

The Network follows up the World Conference on Science, which called upon research groups and institutions to ‘strengthen their regional and international cooperation activities with a view to: facilitating scientific training, sharing expensive facilities, promoting the dissemination of scientific information, exchanging scientific knowledge and data, notably between developed and developing countries, and jointly addressing problems of global concern’. ( para. 9, Science Agenda)

Sources: AUST, Gulf News. For further information, contact United Arab Emirates National Commission for UNESCO, Ministry of Education and Youth, fax: (971-2) 631 39 91.