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|Title:||Towards sustainable North-South scientific collaboration|
|Keywords:||Research - International cooperation|
Developing countries - Economic policy
Creative ability in science
|Abstract:||Traditionally Nort South N-S research collaboration in science and engineering is on directional industrial nations provide funding and maybe hosting for researchers from developing nations to work on projects that may be of interest to both parties but more frequently to industrial countries alone Usually visiting scientists join ongoing projects in industrial countries for periods of varying length after which they either stay abroad or return home and discontinue their work for lack of an appropriate research infrastructure This mode of collaboration while of certain benefits to the individual scientists and institutions involved is of limited help in changing the disparate state of research in science and engineering in the developing countries The fact that potential visiting scientists may be disconnected from the state of art in their fields of research requires their hosts to invest much resources on supervising the collaboration This diminishes the interest of potential hosts in such joint ventures Difficulties in finding affiliation cultural and financial problems of moving and adjusting to a foreign country culture and the short duration of the research stay abroad all make such programs of limited appeal to many scientists The fact that the main part of joint research is done at the laboratories in industrial countries combined with the lack of an appropriate mechanism for technology transfer in the developing nations minimizes the economic returns of this collaboration for third world countries A sustained N-S scientific collaboration needs to be of clear value for both parties We emphasize the material returns rather than the cultural exchange component since the latter is not sufficient to sustain a long term collaboration From the side of developing countries this effort needs to have clear economic benefit by being relevant to their long or short term developmental needs An initial target could be the establishment of a viable research program at the institutes of higher education For industrial nations this collaboration must be one part of a more general exchange scheme that involves the start of the collaboration before executing the research visits currently the only mode of collaboration and its continuation long after that The visits can be instrumental in integrating the scientific effort in the developing countries into the research web world wide However much more is needed to ensure the establishment and long term survival of vigorous research programs in developing countries which is in our view the main guarantor of a sustained North South collaboration in science and engineering|
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