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27 July 2001 - The Moroccan government has set itself the target of devoting 1% of gross domestic product (GDP) to research and development (R&D) by 2010.
This represents more than double the 0.4% share of national income being invested in R&D today and three times that invested in 1998 (0.3%).
This increase in funding is part and parcel of a comprehensive strategy to make R&D a national priority and key factor of development for the country over coming years.
Among the ambitious projects outlined in the Five-Year Plan for 2000-2004 are the launching of a Moroccan Institute of Scientific and Technical Information and the setting-up of centres and laboratories in the fields of water and energy. Fundamental research is also to benefit from active government support.
An inter-university informatic network devoted to education, training and research will be set up under the name of MARWAN (Morocco Wide Area Network).
The government also plans to create an Institute for the Study and Research on Aromatic and Medicinal Plants and a centre for Saharian research. Research laboratories will be equipped with up-to-the minute technology and support extended to research in the social and human sciences.
The fruit of a broad national consultation, six thematic areas for research figure in the Five-Year Plan: improving the quality of life; knowledge, preservation and enhancement of natural resources; socio-economic and cultural development; information technologies; agriculture in adverse conditions; and business innovation and competitivity. Some 104 projects were approved for funding out of a total of 340 in 2000 and a further 412 submissions are being assessed this year.
As a means of facilitating university-industry cooperation, an interface is being put in place in six Moroccan universities and in other institutions of higher education. The government is training experts in industrial engineering and is establishing a Moroccan network of technology incubators. Over the next three years, some 300 businesses will be encouraged to modernize their installations and refresh their savoir faire.
As part of the government's restructuring plans to improve coordination of research, a government body will be set up for scientific research and a permanent interministerial committee constituted to advise the government on R&D.
The National Centre for Coordination and Planning of Scientific and Technological Research (Centre national de coordination et de planification de la recherche scientifique et technique, CNCPRST) is to be replaced by the National Centre for Scientific and Technological Research (Centre national de recherche scientifique et technique, CNRST) and the government is setting up a not-for-profit body composed of experts from the public and private sectors to further research and training.
Source: Ministry for Scientific Research: firstname.lastname@example.org
24 July 2001 - Kuwait is moving to enhance the flow of scientific information to society in its Fifth Strategic Plan for 2001 onwards.
The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) plans to intensify periodic mass-media activities on achievements and events in research. It will upgrade Science & Technology, a magazine in Arabic destined for the general public, and extend circulation beyond Kuwait's borders.
It also plans to organize visits to KISR's facilities and to publish and distribute books relevant to its work in marine science and fisheries, arid-land agriculture and the desert environment, among other fields.
The Government of Kuwait established the KISR in 1967. The main government arm for applied research and technology transfer, the KISR acts as a technical consultant and develops human resources in addition to conducting research and development (R&D).
In its Fifth Strategic Plan, the KISR has defined five priority programme research areas: Petroleum Resources; Water Resources, Food Resources and Agriculture, Environment and Urbanization, and Techno-economics. The Plan also strengthens the programme for human resources development through training.
Source: Kuwait National Commission for UNESCO: ncunesco@KEMS.NET
18 July 2001 - Training and indigenous knowledge systems are to be paid greater attention in future by UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme, in response to the recommendations of the World Conference on Science.
So decided MAB's International Coordinating Council at its November 2000 meeting, during which it also identified the World Network of Biosphere Reserves - 394 in 94 countries - as the principal terrain for follow-up.
As follow-up to the World Conference on Science, MAB and the Convention on Biological Diversity are launching jointly a new global initiative on biological diversity education, training and public awareness-building. A consultative working group of experts has already met twice, in Paris (France) in July 2000 and in Bergen (Norway) in November 2000.
Conscious that 'young scientists should be provided with a knowledge and an understanding of social issues, and a capacity to move outside their specific field of specialization' (para. 69, Science Agenda), a number of countries have begun establishing national awards as an extension of the MAB Young Scientists Awards Programme set up in 1989 by UNESCO. A MAB Certificate for Young Researchers and Environmental Managers in Indonesia was launched in 2000 by a triad composed of UNESCO's Jakarta Office, the Indonesian National Committee for the MAB Programme and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI).
The MAB Certificate targets young scientists working in the fields of management and development of natural resources or in conservation who have forged ties with the local population in the course of their work.
At a time of rapid social change, the project strives to raise environmental awareness and to build the capacity of young scientists and environmental managers to make sustainable use of biological diversity and conservation. For the second edition of this annual award in April 2001, five Certificates were issued after a competitive selection process.
In line with the recommendation that governments 'support cooperation between holders of traditional knowledge and scientists to explore the relationships between different knowledge systems and to foster interlinkages of mutual benefit' (para. 87, Science Agenda), studies have been undertaken recently on local and traditional knowledge and its interaction with modern scientific understanding.
Topics explored at the sites of Pozuelos (Argentina), Pantanal (Brazil), Dja (Cameroon), Xishuangbanna (China), Cevennes (France) and Nilgiri (India) include a comparison of traditional and scientific knowledge of limnological processes and the revival of land-use practices and their use in generating employment possibilities for young people.
A priority over the next two years of the People and Plants initiative implemented by UNESCO, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew (UK) will be to develop and advocate 'best practices' in such areas as wood carving, sustainable use of Himalayan medicinals and people/park relations. Field demonstration sites will be set up similar to the one in Dolpo (Nepal) for medicinal plants.
The Science Agenda called upon governmental and non-governmental organizations to sustain traditional knowledge systems through active support to the societies that are keepers and developers of this knowledge, their ways of life, their languages, their social organization and the environments in which they live, and fully recognize the contribution of women as repositories of a large part of traditional knowledge' (para. 86).
MAB is encouraging gender-related activities in biosphere reserves and other field project sites. In southwestern Uganda, as part of the People and Plants initiative, MAB is either launching or consolidating work on traditional healers and traditional medicinal plants for childbirth and early childcare.
One example of sites where MAB is promoting income-generating and livelihood-boosting schemes for women is the Arganeraie Biosphere Reserve (Morocco) where MAB is backstopping the Union of Women's Cooperatives for the Production and Marketing of Biological Argan Oil and Agricultural Products.
13 July 2001 - A new software enables the visually impaired to use Microsoft Office 2000 and read text from the Internet. And it can be adapted to any language spoken around the world.
The software has been developed by Medianet Consulting, a Paris-based company, using Alva 544 Satellite Braille Display equipment from the Netherlands, which reproduces text matter from the Internet.
The aim is to integrate the visually impaired into society through education. A fine example of research of social relevance, the software should remove one barrier to learning for this disadvantaged group (paras 56 and 91 of Science Agenda).
The software has been adapted to Arabic for a pilot project being conducted at the Al-Noor Institute in Doha (Qatar). The scheme is financed by donations from the Commercial Bank of Qatar ($50,000) and from Agfund ($50,000), a special fund set up by Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to support the work of United Nations development agencies.
The first stage of the project has consisted in the equipping of an electronic laboratory within the Al-Noor Institute under the supervision of UNESCO (Mohamed Miloudi from UNESCO Headquarters in Paris and A. Bubtana and Gilan Elgewely from UNESCO's Doha Office are co-ordinating the project).
The laboratory houses four personal computers linked to a local area network with Internet and Intranet access. Drs Miloudi and Meroune from UNESCO Headquarters in Paris are installing the system in Doha and will be training eight of the Institute's trainers on how to use it. Dr Meroune is himself visually impaired.
The Al-Noor Institute, which provides free tuition, currently caters to the needs of 105 students, half of whom are visually impaired and the remainder with poor vision. Students range from children of 3 years to adults of 45 years.
Governments and educational institutions were called upon in the Science Agenda to 'identify and eliminate, from the early learning stages on, educational practices that have a discriminatory effect, so as to increase the successful participation in science of individuals from all sectors of society, including disadvantaged groups' (para. 81).
M. Miloudi, Science Policy and Analysis Division, UNESCO email@example.com
11 July 2001 - Botswana has set itself the target of becoming a centre of excellence in solar energy by 2016. VISION 2016, as the project is known, was kickstarted recently by a dynamic national workshop on solar energy.
The idea behind the 13 December 2000 workshop, Solar Energy in Botswana - the Way Forward, was to create an enabling environment for making solar energy a vibrant and successful industry in Botswana.
Researchers, practitioners and policy-makers from government departments and training institutions used the brainstorming session to share challenges and opportunities offered by the Botswanan solar energy industry. Ideas thrown around ranged from solar farms and power towers via solar hearing aids and dye-sensitised solar cells to solar energy user diaries.
The workshop was organized by the Science and Technology Sector of the Botswana National Commission for UNESCO with the sponsorship of the Department of Physics at the University of Botswana, the Botswana Technological Centre (BOTEC) and Associated Printers.
Innovative projects across the country were evoked. A lecturer in physics at the University of Botswana for example described a project he and his students were working on to produce dye-sensitised solar cells, which should find a major application in the provision of electricity to rural areas in particular.
The Rural Industries Innovation Center (RIIC) described its current efforts to improve the quality of locally produced and imported solar cookers and solar water heating systems, and identify appropriate technology for local adaptation. RIIC was at the origin of a workshop proposal to set up solar farms and power towers.
Speakers evoked problems they had encountered and proposed solutions. One obstacle to the use of technology was the low income of residents in some rural areas. The high wiring costs could however be reduced whenever these villages were connected to the national grid by the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), which was extending its network and had co-operated with BOTEC on a rural pilot project. To reduce the cost of solar energy in Botswana, participants suggested that the government exclude all solar components, such as solar panels, from customs duty.
Participants urged stakeholders and government to encourage research into ways of reducing the production cost of solar energy components using locally available materials. Their recommendation echoed the Science Agenda's call 'for 'S&T research on clean and sustainable technologies, recycling, renewable energy resources and efficient use of energy to be strongly supported by the public and private sectors at national and international levels' (para.30). Energy use was considered by the World Conference on Science as a key area for investment by governments and the private sector alike since, together with competition for resources and pollution of air, soil and water, it was an issue 'at the root of potential conflicts' (Science Agenda, para. 52).
Theft and vandalism pose a problem in Botswana. One participant suggested 'killing the market for thieves' by designing panels in such a way that they would work only with a particular controller and hence prove useless on other systems.
BOTEC announced that it had come up with Mark 6 optimised and Mark 7 controllers which were not manually calibrated and hence excluded heating, an improvement on on the original technology. With the company's solar-powered hearing aids still proving too bulky for customers' liking however, BOTEC would still have to return to the drawing board to design smaller aids.
In her address, the Acting Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water affairs, Ms Mpotokwane, recalled that VISION 2016 recognized the huge potential of solar energy as an abundant natural resource - Botswana enjoys 3200 hours of sunshine annually. She highlighted government activities in support of solar energy development, such as heating, rural electrification, water pumping and solar energy popularization.
In the area of popularization, participants suggested using the BOTEC radio programme to build much-needed awareness of solar energy. How many people around the country had been converted to solar energy? No-one knew. Speakers urged the government to remedy the lack of proper statistics on the use of solar energy and to set up a monitoring mechanism.
Solar energy was a new technology in Botswana, the Acting Permanent Secretary stressed. The Botswana Bureau of Standards was still defining quality standards. As for the current lack of confidence among consumers in the use of solar energy, she put this down to the substandard workmanship by some providers.
In addition to poor workmanship, the lack of direct customer access to suppliers also discouraged customers from persisting with solar energy. Since most projects were government-funded, the government was urged to allow customers direct access to suppliers.
What about introducing solar energy user diaries to combat shoddy workmanship? If an installed solar heater did not work, a participant reasoned, the user should be able not only to report this directly to the company but also note the problem in a user diary which could serve to check on the performance of a given solar supply company. If customer satisfaction were poor, no government contract would be awarded to the incriminated company.
Solar energy had its limitations, all admitted freely, such as the inability of solar systems to power highly rated systems such as electric irons, refrigerators and the like. It should thus be regarded as a complementary solution to other power generation systems.
Participants bemoaned the lack of locally available training centres in solar energy and manufacturing companies. The University of Botswana currently offers a specialization in solar energy at MSc and PhD levels, but nothing at lower levels. The University indicated at the workshop that its Department of Mechanical Engineering would be in a position to offer specialist training in solar energy following a review of courses in conjunction with stakeholders from industry.
Refusing to cede to 'too many solar energy problems, too little time', the participants proposed organizing first a follow-up then regional workshop in 2002, followed by an international conference in 2003. Funding would be requested from various sources, including UNESCO and its partners.
Source : James G. King, Chairman, Science and Technology Sector, Botswana National Commission for UNESCO : Kingjg@mopipi.ub.bw
6 July 2001 - A roundtable on research, education and industry in Budapest (Hungary) has recommended the setting up of a sub-regional observatory on science and technology to boost innovation and competitiveness in the sub-region.
Participants from the productive, research and university sectors used the roundtable on Research, Education and Industry in the Central and Eastern European (CEE) Countries to alert Parliaments, Governments and local authorities to what they perceive as a critical situation in Central and Eastern Europe. Urgent, co-ordinated action was required, they warned, to preserve and develop research capacities in countries of the region and thus ensure the region's long-term competitiveness.
From 12-14 October 2000, participants exchanged experiences and proposals at the roundtable, organized by UNESCO's Science Policy and Analysis Division in co-operation with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO as a follow-up activity to the World Conference on Science.
Realistic, participants acknowledged that public support for financing research and development would remain dominant in the medium term. But while it was necessary to maintain and strengthen the public financing system, they argued for appropriate legal dispositions to diversify and mobilise the resources from the private sector and society at large. Investments in the R&D sector needed encouraging, they urged, as did self-financing possibilities and capacities.
Equal emphasis needed to be given to building absorption capacities to maximize the efficiency of R&D investments. The expanding role of international business called for new methods and management skills at all levels and from all actors in the science arena.
The financing of research being a key concern in all Central and Eastern European countries, even if the problems, experiences and approaches were very diverse, participants urged haste in developing regional co-operation to enable the CEE countries to pool initiatives, efforts and resources, as for example through regular consultations between R&D policy-makers in the region and those of the European Union (EU) countries.
An innovative form of co-operation proposed was the Sub-regional Observatory. Once established, the Observatory would undertake expert studies, under the aegis of UNESCO and possibly other international and regional mechanisms such as EU pre-accession funds, to analyse and compare the text of laws in the countries in the region and propose model laws for these countries concerning efficient financing of R&D.
In parallel, the Observatory would develop interdisciplinary training courses for lawyers and civil servants focusing on the complex interdependence of education, research and industry, copyright and labour law in the information society.
Business and administrative management programmes would be run and structures for technology research developed. A co-operation network of small scientific communities would be launched.
The Observatory would also set up a 'best practices' network to adapt methods of statistical data collection and analysis.
An R&D desk would handle the exchange of recent information on major research achievements in the region and provide advisory services for their commercial application.
The Observatory would also compile a database of international audio-visual, 'popular science' materials on new achievements and technologies for use on public television.
Among other recommendations, many dealt with the promotion of corporate sponsorship. Projects tabled included a scheme to develop business partnerships in the CEE, a pilot project to promote corporate fundraising for science education and the creation of National Associations of Business and Industrial Sponsorship.
The roundtable also proposed exploring the desirability of launching, under the general label of a joint UNESCO-EU Commission programme, a special fund for multilateral programmes involving the CEE countries in 2001-2007.
The National Commission of UNESCO for Slovenia has offered to host a follow-up meeting to the October roundtable before the end of this year.
For further information, contact Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO: firstname.lastname@example.org
3 July 2001 - The SESAME Project will be taking a giant step forward next month when construction begins in Allan (Jordan) of permanent premises.
SESAME stands for Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East. As the name suggests, the project's aim is to establish, under UNESCO's umbrella, the Middle East's first major international research centre as a cooperative venture by the scientists of the region. Upon completion of the centre, the research programme is expected to start in 2003. Eleven governments have so far joined the project: Armenia, Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Authority, and Turkey. Observer countries include Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Sweden, the UK and the USA.Others have expressed interest in joining.
The SESAME Interim Council is due to meet in Amman, Jordan, on 27-28 August 2001. The meeting will be presided over by Herwig Schopper, President of the SESAME Interim Council, with His Majesty King Abdullah II expected to be in attendance. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned at this time to mark the placing of the first stone. The centre will be jointly operated and supported by all member countries, with additional support from other countries interested in promoting the peaceful development of science and technology in the Middle East.
Specific programmes planned for SESAME include structural molecular biology, molecular environmental science, surface and interface science, microelectromechanical devices, X-ray imaging, archaeological microanalysis, materials characterisation, and medical applications. As an international scientific and technological centre of excellence open to all qualified scientists from the Middle East and elsewhere, SESAME will foster the scientific, technical and economic development of the region and strengthen collaboration in science. SESAME will have as its centerpiece a synchrotron radiation source donated by Germany, the BESSY I storage ring and injector system, which is being significantly upgraded in size and energy to accommodate four insertion devices. Superconducting multipole wigglers will extend the spectral range to 20-25 keV. With these upgrades, the facility will have a very capable, broad spectral range. Due to its low emittance (50 nm-rad), high stored current (up to 700 mA), and small source size at the wiggler source points (0.45 mm x 0.05 mm sigmas), very high flux and flux density should be available from IR to hard x-rays. Undulators will provide relatively high brightness at photon energies up to about 1 keV.
Over the past couple of years, workshops and schools on Accelerator Science and Technology, Materials Research, and Structural Molecular Biology have brought scientists and engineers from SESAME member countries together with experts in synchrotron radiation sources and applications.
The next SESAME scientific workshop is due to take place in Istanbul (Turkey) from 3 to 8 September 2001 on the theme of Bioinformatics and Structural Modelling. Also part of the SESAME project, some 20 scientists and engineers are currently spending 6-12 months each working on accelerator projects at European laboratories and eight scientists have completed or are now completing long term visits to US synchrotron radiation laboratories working on applications of synchrotron radiation.
Support for these activities has been provided by UNESCO, SESAME member countries, the US Department of Energy, the US State Department, ICTP (Trieste) and the International Atomic Energy Agency, as well as by many synchrotron radiation laboratories in Europe and the USA.
For further information, contact email@example.com or go to: www.sesame.org.jo
|‘Active learning’ technique gives physics a facelift in Asia|
29 June 2001 - UNESCO and the the Asian Physics Education Network (ASPEN) are promoting an innovative ‘active learning’ approach to physics teaching at the introductory and university levels as a means of stimulating students’ interest in the subject.
The ‘active learning’ technique is student-centred and has been designed to be relevant to the Asian context. It encourages the student to participate in the learning process. Activity-based, the method involves the use of computers, demonstrations and experiments in the classroom.
In the chapter on Science education, the Science Agenda recommends that ‘new curricula, teaching methodologies and resources taking into account gender and cultural diversity be developed by national education systems in response to the changing educational needs of societies.’
Conceptual understanding assessment tests have shown active learning to be effective in increasing both the student’s interest in, and understanding of, physics. Encouraged by initial feedback, ASPEN is pursuing regional activities and offering support to a number of country initiatives.
The Science Agenda also advocates ‘taking steps to’promote the professional development of teachers and educators in the face of change and ... to address the lack of appropriately trained science teachers and educators, in particular in developing countries’.
Teaching staff are not overlooked in the project. As follow-up to the active learning workshops, ASPEN organized a first trainers’ workshop from 26 February to 2 March 2001, at which selected physics teachers from ASPEN member countries were shown how to organize their own workshops and adapt the active learning technique to their respective countries. A digital video of the workshop is to be made available online soon.
With university physics teachers in mind, UNESCO and ASPEN are developing different instructional materials and modules for classroom activities. These materials and modules will soon be available via the UNESCO Jakarta Office or ASPEN websites.
Current ground-breaking projects include the development of ‘virtual’ lecture demonstration video clips recorded on CD ROM for use in supplementing ‘real’ lecture demonstrations (Swinburne University of Technology, Australia) and a series of non-micro-computer-based interactive lecture demonstrations (Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines).
An existing Foundation Course in Physics will also incorporate the ‘active-learning’ approach in future. The Foundation Course in Physics is part of a project launched by UNESCO’s Science Sector in 1990, entitled University Foundation Courses in the Basic Sciences. The project took off in Asia through ASPEN and resulted in the production of textbooks, laboratory manuals, video clips and computer simulation software.
According to the Introduction, Science in Canada is ‘intended as a non-exhaustive overview of programmes and initiatives that address theme areas in which Canada is particularly active and which help fulfill commitments made in the Science Agenda - Framework for Action.’
The themes chosen are all taken from the Science Agenda. Section One lists those of intrinsic interest: Ethics in Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) and Bridging the Information Gap between Science and the Public ; Research and Development Capacity-building and Transdisciplinarity in the Sciences; Women, Youth and Disabled People in SET; Aboriginal Participation, Traditional Knowledge and SET; Sustainable Development and Environmental Technology and Research.
As examples of initiatives linked directly with the World Conference on Science, the report cites plans to create a Canadian chapter of the International Forum of Young Scientists set up in Budapest, a Millennium Symposium on Science and Human Rights and a preparatory meeting to be held in 2001 for an International Conference of Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES).
ICWES may not be a by-product of Budapest – the triennial conference antedates Budapest by several years – but this year’s preparatory meeting for ICWES takes its inspiration from Budapest. The plan to create an international federation of women in science and technology at the preparatory meeting stems from a recommendation by the six regional associated meetings of the World Conference on Science on gender: Bariloche (Argentina), Sydney (Australia), Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Turin (Italy), Bled (Slovenia), Doha (United Arab Emirates), which was incorporated into paragraph 90 of the Science Agenda.
Section Two of the report expands themes from the Science Agenda in which Canada has a demonstrated interest, namely Climate Change Research and Arctic and Circumpolar Affairs, Forestry and Science, Science for Peaceful Purposes and Human Security.
Here, the report cites inter alia plans for an Arctic University to address circumpolar challenges facing Canada and its seven artic neighbours and to improve both the Canadian and circumpolar policy research network.
Each project described in Science in Canada is accompanied by a list of source material and relevant websites.
|UNESCO’s Executive Board gives water institutions go ahead|
The final decision lies with the General Conference of UNESCO, which will bring together all 188 Member States in October to finalize the Organization’s programme and budget for 2002-2003.
The Executive Board, which meets biannually and is comprised of 58 rotating Members, has recommended this week that the General Conference establish the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and that it further examine, amend as appropriate and approve the Institute’s Statutes (see also WCS Newsletter of 30 June 2000).
The Board also invites the Director-General to submit to the General Conference for approval the final proposal for the creation of the Regional Centre on Urban Water Management, together with the draft Agreement between UNESCO and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran (see also WCS Newsletter of 15 March 2001).
Identified by the World Conference on Science as being an area of the environmental sciences ‘requiring special attention’, freshwater and supporting ecosystems have been designated the Organization’s principal priority in the natural and exact sciences for 2002-2003.
|UNESCO supporting S&T in DPR Korea|
12 June 2001 - Tomorrow, four scientists from the Academy of Sciences of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea will travel to Australia as guests of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
The ten-day visit has been arranged so that the Korean scientists may survey developments in Australia in the fields of life sciences, electronics, energy, and new materials development, in addition to exploring avenues for collaboration and support.
The Australian mission comes as a result of a UNESCO science mission to the Academy of Sciences and National Commission for UNESCO of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea almost a year ago.
The 18–22 July 2000 mission sought to undertake a detailed discipline-based needs assessment, identify problem areas and propose future action. The team covered expertise in mathematics, physics and physics education, water sciences, microbiology, genetic engineering and biology, renewable energies, environmental assessment, computer science, informatics, science management and policy.
The Final Report and Proposal sums up the mission’s observations and the outcome of consultations, in addition to proposing a three-level programme of action to support and help internationalize DPR Korean science.
The promotion of regional and international cooperation to further science and technology was a central message of the World Conference of Science.
Taking up some of the Report’s recommendations, UNESCO’s Beijing Office has made funds available for eight young scientists from DPR Korea to participate in research training in China in the Biotechnology Education and Training Center in Qingdao; International Research and Training Center on Erosion and Sedimentation in Beijing; and Institute of Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
|Lao PDR working towards national S&T policy|
8 June 2001 - A survey mission is heading to the Lao People's Democratic Republic this September to assist the country in establishing a national policy for science and technology.
The mission follows up a workshop organized in Seoul (Republic of Korea) by the Science and Technology Policy Asian Network (STEPAN) in June 2000 to discuss the needs of least developed countries in the region with regard to science and technology policy-making.
At the time, the STEPAN Board recommended that UNESCO's Jakarta Office make arrangements to assist Laos in this area.
The UNESCO Jakarta Office has been benefiting from the valuable expertise of STEPAN in its preparation for the survey mission.
For further information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Free guide now available for S&T projects in Latin America|
In recent decades, international co-operation for development in Latin America has been a resource to which governments, as well as civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), have appealed with increasing expectations. They are counting on this form of co-operation to help bridge gaps they have found difficult to bridge with their own resources, especially in the areas of funding and personnel. The diversity of types of co-operation and procedures highlights the need to draw key information together in a single document.
The Guide follows up paragraph 16 of the Science Agenda, which recommends 'a close dialogue ... between donors and recipients of S&T funding' and that 'universities, research institutes and industry ... develop closer cooperation' with the financing of S&T projects being promoted 'as a means of advancing knowledge and strengthening science-based industry'.
The Guide, which comes in a compact disc (CD) format, has been prepared to assist institutions involved in planning, promotion, management, financing or execution of scientific and technological activities in the region, in their search to complement scarce local resources. It has been put together by ROSTLAC through its Divisions of Science Analysis and Policies and Basic and Engineering Sciences.
More than a directory, it is a compilation offering continuous and up-to-date support to the region by providing information about programmes, projects, technical and or financial co-operation, scholarships and other topics of interest.
The electronic version of the CD may be consulted at the following webpage: http://www.unesco.org.uy/st-management/ An upgrade will be done directly at the webpage.
For free copies of the Guide, please contact Eduardo Martínez, ROSTLAC, Montevideo (Uruguay): email@example.com
|Kazakh seminar to concretize recommendations of World Conference on Science|
Expected to bring together some 30 decision-makers and scientists from different regions of Kazakhstan, as well as UNESCO experts, the seminar will serve to stimulate debate and reflection on future science policy in Kazakhstan using the recommendations of the Budapest Conference as a starting point. The seminar should culminate in a national plan of action.
The seminar comes at a crucial time. In the current transition to a market economy, it has become urgent to halt the erosion of science in the newly independent states of Central Asia. The science and technology systems inherited from the Former Soviet Union are going to need to be reoriented if they are to provide a sound base for the research and development so crucial to economic and social revival.
The possibility of arranging a similar seminar in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan is currently under discussion with the Academies of these countries.
|En 2010, le Maroc aura doublé les fonds attribués à la recherche|
27 juillet 2001 - Le gouvernement marocain s'est fixé comme objectif d'atteindre 1% du produit intérieur brut (PIB) qui sera consacré à la recherche et au développement (R&D) en 2010.
Ce qui équivaut à plus que doubler les 0,4% du revenu national attribués à ce jour à la recherche et au développement et correspond à trois fois la somme investie en 1998 (0,3%).
Cette croissance de l'investissement fait partie intégrante d'une stratégie prépondérante visant à faire de la recherche une priorité nationale et un facteur clé du développement du pays dans les années à venir.
Parmi les projets ambitieux soulignés dans le plan quinquennal pour 2000-2004 figure la création de l'Institut Marocain de l'Information Scientifique et Technique et l'installation de centres et de laboratoires dans le domaine de l'eau et de l'énergie ainsi qu'un important soutien financier pour la recherche fondamentale.
Figure également parmi ces projets, la création d'un réseau informatique inter-universités qui portera le nom de MARWAN (Morocco Wide Area Network) et sera destiné à l'éducation, la formation et la recherche.
Par ailleurs, le Gouvernement a prévu la création d'un Institut d'études et de recherche sur les plantes aromatiques et médicinales ainsi qu'un centre d'études et de recherche sahariennes. Les laboratoires de recherche seront équipés de matériel de très haute technologie et bénéficieront d'un appui à la recherche dans les disciplines des sciences humaines et sociales.
Fruit d'une large consultation nationale, le plan quinquennal laisse apparaître six programmes thématiques dans la recherche scientifique ayant pour objectif l'amélioration de la qualité de la vie ; de la connaissance, la préservation et la valorisation des ressources naturelles ; du développement socio-économique et culturel ; des sciences et des technologies de l'information ; de l'agriculture en conditions difficiles ; de l'innovation et de la compétitivité des entreprises. En 1999-2000, 104 projets sur 340 ont été retenus et 412 projets sont en cours d'évaluation pour cette année.
Afin d'encourager et de faciliter la coopération universités-industries, une structure d'interfaces sera implantée dans six universités marocaines et dans d'autres institutions d'enseignement supérieur. Le gouvernement a également prévu la formation d'experts en génie industriel et la création d'un site Internet dans ce domaine ainsi que l'établissement d'un réseau marocain d'incubateurs. Dans les trois prochaines années, près de 300 entreprises seront amenées à moderniser leurs installations et revaloriser leur savoir-faire.
Afin de renforcer la coordination dans le domaine de la recherche, le plan gouvernemental de restructuration prévoit la création d'une autorité gouvernementale pour la recherche et la création d'un comité interministériel permanent qui sera chargé de conseiller le gouvernement en matière de recherche et de développement.
Le Centre national de coordination et de planification de la recherche scientifique et technique, (CNCPRST) sera remplacé par le Centre national de recherche scientifique et technique, (CNRST) et parallèlement, le gouvernement créera un groupement d'intérêt public (GIP) en matière de recherche et de formation.
Source: Ministère marocain de l'Enseignement Supérieur, de la Formation des Cadres et de la Recherche Scientifique, firstname.lastname@example.org