The 24th Conference of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS), has urged the OIC member states to invest at least One Percent of their GDP in research in science, technology and innovation (STI) for socio-economic development.
The expert-participants have called on OIC member states for the inclusion of enquiry-based education to enhance creativity, curiosity and problem solving for building-capacity in STI and enriching human resources.
They were speaking in the concluding session of the 24th Conference of the IAS on “Challenges to Promote Science & Technology for Socio-Economic Development in OIC Countries” held at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), University of Karachi (UoK) on Wednesday.
Prof Dr M Iqbal Choudhary, Director of the ICCBS, and COMSTECH Coordinator-General, and IAS President Prof Adnan Badran (Jordan), addressed the concluding session.
The conference was organized in collaboration with the Islamic World Academy of Sciences, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Ministerial Standing Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH), and ICCBS, University of Karachi. Eminent scientists from various countries, especially from the Islamic World, including Jordan, Pakistan, Malaysia, Iran, Palestine, Bangladesh, Morocco, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Germany, USA, Singapore and Australia attended the conference.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof Iqbal Choudhary pointed out that there was a dire need to bridge the gap between the academia and industry in the OIC member states for joint R&D leading to socio-economic development.
Countries in the Muslim World are required to create technology parks and incubators to commercialize the delivery of research and innovations into start-up SMEs and enhance diversification of new materials and quality control, he said.
Prof Iqbal Choudhary said, “Science is like a ‘one language’ which unites the whole humanity”. Through science and technology nations can bridge the gap, and engage themselves in a productive and useful dialogue for common human values, he said.
He also informed the participants about various programs and initiatives of COMSTECH, which included the largest research fellowships program in the OIC region.
Prof Adnan Badran urged the OIC member states to create a consortium for a sustainable triangle of energy-water-food security linked to IAS platform to network reputable research centers in OIC countries for self-reliance and meeting the SDGs, and called on COMSTECH to increase their mobility grants to scientists from LDCs to centers of excellence for training and research in combating poverty and hunger.
The IAS president also urged the OIC member states to align cooperation and collaboration with private sector on achieving a sustainable triangle of food security, for future generations.
Academia and research centers of OIC member states should encourage interdisciplinary research to deal with “common” problems of the Islamic world, including fields of humanity and social sciences as climate change, the triangle for sustainability, population, poverty, Medicare etc., he said.