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.