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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In this section you can find the presentations discussed during the final conference.[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title="Iraq Participation in MERID | Samir Badrawi - Ministry of Science & Technology - Iraq" title_align="separator_align_left" align="align_left" style="dotted" el_width="50"][vc_column_text][.ppt - 514 KB][/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title="Future EU – ME cooperation opportunities: Recommendations for an enhanced EU – ME STI cooperation | George Bonas - CeRISS - Greece" title_align="separator_align_left" align="align_left" style="dotted" el_width="50"][vc_column_text][.pdf - 1,2 MB] [.ppt - 324 KB][/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title="Key Conclusions of the Bilateral Policy Dialogue Meetings & Regional Events in the MERID project | Angel Saz-Carranza - ESADEgeo Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics" title_align="separator_align_left" align="align_left" style="dotted" el_width="50"][vc_column_text][.ppt - 1,7 MB][/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title="WP4 - Training, capacity & awareness building for promoting cooperation in H2020 | Virginia Belsanti - CIHEAM Bari - Italy" title_align="separator_align_left" align="align_left" style="dotted" el_width="50"][vc_column_text][.pdf | 716 KB][/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title="Lebanon Participation in MERID | Mouïn Hamzé & Rula Atweh – National Council for Scientific Research – Lebanon" title_align="separator_align_left" align="align_left" style="dotted" el_width="50"][vc_column_text][.pdf - 3,7 MB][/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title="WP5- Communication and Dissemination
 | Federico Ruberti – Net7 - Italy" title_align="separator_align_left" align="align_left" style="dotted" el_width="50"][vc_column_text][.ppt - 5,3 MB][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery type="image_grid" images="4683,4681,4682,4680,4679,4650,4655,4674,4675,4676,4677,4678,4686,4687,4688,4689,4690,4691,4697,4696,4695,4694,4693,4692,4648,4698,4699,4700,4701,4702,4703,4709,4708,4707,4706,4705,4704,4710,4711,4712,4713,4714,4715,4723,4720,4719,4718,4717,4716"][/vc_column][/vc_row]

In this section you can find the presentations discussed during the final conference.

Iraq Participation in MERID | Samir Badrawi - Ministry of Science & Technology - Iraq

Future EU – ME cooperation opportunities: Recommendations for an enhanced EU – ME STI cooperation | George Bonas - CeRISS - Greece

Key Conclusions of the Bilateral Policy Dialogue Meetings & Regional Events in the MERID project | Angel Saz-Carranza - ESADEgeo Center for Global Economy and Geopolitics

WP4 - Training, capacity & awareness building for promoting cooperation in H2020 | Virginia Belsanti - CIHEAM Bari - Italy

Lebanon Participation in MERID | Mouïn Hamzé & Rula Atweh – National Council for Scientific Research – Lebanon

WP5- Communication and Dissemination
 | Federico Ruberti – Net7 - Italy

What does science diplomacy mean? How researchers can contribute to the development of science diplomacy processes and what communications can do to improve their results?

We asked the point of view of Prof. Luk Van Langenhove, professor expert on the subject who has recently published the report “Tools for Science Diplomacy” in collaboration with DG Research, Science and Innovation of the European Commission.

Prof. Dr. Luk Van Langenhove is research professor at the Institute for European Studies at the VUB University of Brussels and Scientific coordinator of H2020-funded project El-Csid.

Would you like to share your opinion on Science Diplomacy too? Please write us at meridwp@gmail.com
#MeridSciDip #Merid #SciDip


The point of view of a young Iranian student on Science Diplomacy #MeridSciDip

Many different reasons bring people moving between countries and living abroad for various periods of times: professional improvement, curiosity, necessity. The experiences they live add values to their cultural baggage and often provide valid contribution to the development of their home countries.

Reihaneh Eshraghi is an Iranian student who studies in Italy and who is currently doing a traineeship in Brussels in Public Affairs. On the basis of these experiences, Reihaneh gives her point of view on the benefits and the struggles of cultural exchange opportunities.

Would you like to share your opinion on Science Diplomacy too? Please write us at meridwp@gmail.com


Rami M. Ayoubi is Senior International Development Consultant. PhD Supervisor School of Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University, United Kingdom. Last year, he participated at the regional event organized by MERID in Beirut. As a researcher with direct experience in the field of scientific exchanges between countries and international programmes of funding for research, we asked him to share with us his ideas, hopes and critiques about the state of science diplomacy.

According to the current situation, which are, in your opinion, the most significant difficulties that science diplomacy faces? Could these difficulties be considered actual limits for science diplomacy?

I think that science diplomacy is an innovative concept and activity by itself. If implemented comprehensively, science diplomacy could result in better life for people. However, there are constraints and difficulties which could limit its implementation. In summary, the main challenges are around three major constraints: macro support from governments, implementation support from funding bodies, and micro support from the scientists themselves.

I listed some of these below:

  • There is no comprehensive approach to science diplomacy. It is rather micro small attempts from activists in cultural and science dialogue.
  • The policy of most countries is still under-represented when it comes to science diplomacy.
  • The traditional view of people towards scientist as non-leader of change in the society, makes it very difficult to get positive public opinion in most countries when it comes to border-less science.
  • Most scientists around the world are not lobbying enough with each other aiming at establishing organizations of scientists without borders.
  • The funding bodies, including the European Commission, should play and pay a bigger attention and role to potential projects that would enhance dialogue and science diplomacy between nations. MERID is a good example, but the question is how many MERIDs are there?

Do you think that science diplomacy could have a proactive role for the topics of instability and migration?

When it comes to issues like instability and migration, I prefer to adopt the scientists’ dialogue. In my opinion, I think that the scientific approach of most scientists and their objective approach of putting solutions to global issues will help for better life internationally. Therefore, science diplomacy could have a proactive role for the current critical topics of instability and migration. However, this is very much linked to the current difficulties that scientists are facing with the biased behavior of some of their governments. The scientific approach of creating solutions to instability and migration with a flavor of leadership skills and diplomacy skills will enhance the possibility to create some immediate solutions that could ease these issues.

Can you describe whether and how the MERID project has an impact on your activities?

I think the aims of the MERID project are both holistic and doable. Myself, when I first participated in the activities of this project, I was not very clear of its outcomes. However, by time and after joining some of its activities and practicing science diplomacy practices through the workshops, I felt personally that this project will have an impact on my current activities and work. Working previously with Erasmus+ in Syria, with the Ministry of higher education and currently as adviser for international development at Cardiff Met university in UK, the MERID project enhanced my thoughts towards science diplomacy with the current Syrian Government (despite the European sanctions), and supported my current activities at Cardiff Met of working with colleagues towards establishing global academies for global crisis solutions.

Since 2015, MERID project has been working to contribute to the development of science diplomacy, with a particular focus on the Middle East region, through the organization of webinars, regional events, dissemination of information, etc.., mainly addressing the issues of brain circulation and science diasporas. 

MERID project includes 13 partners from 13 European and Middle East countries, coordinated by Euro-Mediterranean University EMUNI.

Follow MERID activities on Facebook and Twitter!

 

Interview conducted by:

 

 

Dr. Chafic Mokbel is Secretary General of UoB Research Council at the University of Balamand, Lebanon. As a professor with knowledge of MERID project and direct experience in the field of international research programmes, we asked him to share with us his ideas, hopes and critiques about the state of science diplomacy.

According to the current situation, which are, in your opinion, the most significant challenges that science diplomacy faces?

Science diplomacy is set to cope with divides, and the difficulties it faces are inherently related to the divides or the differences that can exist at all levels. In my opinion, some of the most important challenges, resulting from major differences and facing science diplomacy, are presented hereafter:

  • The research topic of interest. Globalisation has made global nearly every research topic of interest. This being said, the relative priorities may differ significantly from one context to another. Fortunately, mechanisms have been introduced in different research and academic development supporting programmes to consider the local relative priorities. H2020 and Erasmus+ programmes, for example, engage active dialogue with partner countries and experts in order to better respond to local needs/interests. They also offer the opportunity to partner institutions to manage projects. To better profit from such opportunities, an efficient and effective process to determine and update the local research priorities/needs is needed.
  • The process for the management of research. The processes for the development of research activities have been extensively developed in the past decades. Although existing, this development did not follow the same pace in all countries, as well as the support for research. For instance, issues like relevance, innovation management, technology transfer and others have not been well tackled in some countries. A very important issue, especially concerning developing countries, is the transparency method to access research funds. Eventually, the development of research in partner countries is hugely, if not exclusively, dependent on the resources allocated in international programmes of science diplomacy. Personally, I believe that more balanced conditions would certainly help increasing the impact of science diplomacy.
  • Research in the developing countries is mainly conducted within the higher education sector. This sector is characterised by an increasing teaching load due to the massive enrolment in universities. The increasing teaching load reinforces the divide between the higher education and the socio-economic development. The role of the universities is mainly teaching. On the contrary, in industrial countries, universities are often at the centre of socio-economic development. In my opinion, a better organisation of the whole higher education sector could lead to a more efficient education framework.

Do you think that science diplomacy could have a proactive role for the topics of instability and migration?

Science diplomacy has a confirmed role in reducing the divides. For the same reason, it plays a positive role in stability and limiting migration. However, it is a topic that has to be managed with care, in order to maximize this positive impact without creating disappointments. If science diplomacy fails, there is an important risk of losing hope in local development, which would endanger the stability or at least increase the migration. Science diplomacy shall not be about the access to knowledge in a more globalised world than ever. It is a more critical topic, that is about the culture of change and the way to stay connected to the advancements in today’s world. The outcomes of science diplomacy in reducing instability and migration seem to depend on the chance of success that a minimal set of transparent processes and structures obtains in connecting highly qualified scientists to the local socio-economic development.

Can you describe whether and how the MERID project has an impact on your activities?

I attended several MERID meetings that allowed me to better understand the H2020 processes. Moreover, I have understood in those meetings several other technical aspects in different domains. This helped me in promoting ideas, within my University and colleagues, which have kept my research activities relevant to the state of the art.

Since 2015, MERID project has been working to contribute to the development of science diplomacy, with a particular focus on the Middle East region, through the organization of webinars, regional events, dissemination of information, etc.., mainly addressing the issues of brain circulation and science diasporas. 

MERID project includes 13 partners from 13 European and Middle East countries, coordinated by Euro-Mediterranean University EMUNI.

Follow MERID activities on Facebook and Twitter!