TUNISIA: European innovation partnership set up

A four-year partnership funded by the European Union has been set up to promote the development of technological innovation in Tunisia, reported La Presse of Tunis.

The EUR12 million (US$16 million) initiative aims to create a coordinated system for EU institutions and those of Mediterranean partner countries to find solutions to principal problems identified throughout the 'innovation chain' - from a company in direct contact with the consumer market and employment, through institutional, administrative, financial, technical and academic participants, to the research laboratory that produces knowledge.

The partnership was one of several topics examined during a workshop organised in Tunis in late November by ONST, Tunisia's national observatory of sciences and technology, and the IRD, Europe's institute for research for development, which examined cooperation between Mediterranean countries through the MIRA (Mediterranean Innovation and Research Coordination Action) project under the European Commission's 7th framework research programme, reported La Presse.

The objective of MIRA was to set up a coordination system between activities of the EU and its Mediterranean partners, including Tunisia, to contribute to the EU's European Neighbourhood Policy, said the paper.

The union's new strategic framework was introduced this year, designed to establish an internationally high-level scientific base in socially challenging areas such as climate change, rational use of resources, energy and food safety, health and ageing population.

It also aimed to make EU funding more attractive and accessible for researchers and companies, covering basic and applied research, collaboration between universities and businesses and innovation at company level.

This, said the paper, was the experience the EU wanted to share with its Tunisian partner.

* This article is drawn from local media. University World News cannot vouch for the accuracy of the original reports.