COM­STECH’s key meet­ing be­gins to­day


JED­DAH: The OIC Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on Sci­en­tific and Tech­no­log­i­cal Co­op­er­a­tion (COM­STECH) be­gins its two-day meet­ing from Tues­day in Is­lam­abad, Pak­istan. To be pre­ceded by an ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee meet­ing on Mon­day, the 15th Gen­eral As­sem­bly Meet­ing is to con­sider “The Ten-Year S&T Plan of Ac­tion for De­vel­op­ment of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy in OIC states,” which has been pre­pared by the COM­STECH in con­sul­ta­tions with em­i­nent sci­en­tists from 20 mem­ber-states.

This doc­u­ment iden­ti­fies some ba­sic pri­or­i­ties re­lated in par­tic­u­lar to ed­u­ca­tion and skill de­vel­op­ment, health, en­ergy and other in­fra­struc­ture fa­cil­i­ties which need to be present before ad­vances in sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy can emerge in Mem­ber States.

Af­ter iden­ti­fy­ing the pri­or­ity ar­eas, rec­om­men­da­tions are made for mul­ti­disci- plinary re­search in emerg­ing ar­eas of ba­sic and ap­plied sciences and tech­nol­ogy. Sev­eral ‘big’ sci­ence ini­tia­tives are pro­posed which range from space sciences and as­tron­omy to plasma physics and fu­sion, nan­otech­nol­ogy, as well as ma­te­ri­als, com­put­ing, pho­ton­ics, en­ergy, food and wa­ter, cli­mate change and man­age­ment of big data/cy­ber se­cu­rity, which are likely to have the high­est po­ten­tial for eco­nomic growth.

An im­por­tant com­po­nent of the Plan is the Ibn Al Haitham Pro­gram, which is in­tended to en­cour­age ex­change of sci­en­tists across mem­ber States. To en­cour­age new start-ups in high tech­nol­ogy, a Ven­ture Cap­i­tal Fund has also been pro­posed for use in OIC coun­tries.

“Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy, Higher Ed­u­ca­tion, Health and En­vi­ron­ment con­sti­tute cru­cial do­mains for the OIC and its spe­cial­ized and af­fil­i­ated in­sti­tu­tions,” said the OIC Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Iyad Ameen Madani.

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