Dossier: Research Cooperation with Developing Countries

Grasping opportunities – sponsoring research

Oliver Pamen, Forschungslehrstuhlinhaber am AIMS Ghana
Potential for mathematical research in Africa: Olivier Pamen, holder of the German Research Chair at the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in Accra, Ghana, reports on his work: to the multimedia feature

In a globalised world, a country’s prospects for growth, affluence and social harmony are inextricably bound up with scientific and technical progress. Innovative know-how is, however, a desired object and modern knowledge societies all over the world invest huge sums competing with each other to acquire it.

This contest makes it particularly difficult for developing and transition countries to develop functioning and internationally competitive science systems. How and where is the scientific training given to junior researchers really successful? How can academics be encouraged to address the special problems confronting the less developed countries in their research? At present, developing countries still face a serious imbalance in the distribution and focus of research activities which are largely oriented to the future issues occupying the industrialised nations worldwide.

But many problems can only be solved if developed and less developed countries cooperate with each more closely than they have so far. Climate change, future energy provision and combating infectious disease are examples for some of the challenges no nation can meet alone. They require international cooperation, in science, too.

The Humboldt Foundation’s answer to these issues and problems is targeted sponsorship for academic excellence in developing countries and the further consolidation of its transnational and transdisciplinary scientific networks in these regions.
 

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