Rabat – Morocco and Tunisia have partnered to launch two research and development programs with a budget of MAD 20 million ($2.16 million).
The Moroccan and Tunisian ministries of education and scientific research announced the agreement on Tuesday.
The programs include supporting research and development in priority areas for the two countries and creating laboratories for joint study between Moroccan and Tunisian researchers.
The goal of the initiative is to respond to socio-economic and technological challenges Morocco and Tunisia face through research and innovation.
Priority areas include health, renewable energies and electricity, energy efficiency, artificial intelligence, water, the environment, and climate change, as well as human and social sciences.
Morocco and Tunisia each committed MAD 10 million ($1.08 million) towards the research and development programs.
The programs will provide logistical support to research structures, finance the mobility of researchers, and encourage the realization of doctoral theses within the framework of joint supervision between Moroccan and Tunisian universities.
Thirty projects from a pool of 168 are set to benefit from the Moroccan-Tunisian agreement. The projects are divided among the fields of water, environment, and climate change (53%), health (20%), renewable energies and energy efficiency (10%), artificial intelligence and Big Data (10%), and human and social sciences (7%).
Morocco unveiled several new research initiatives this week.
On Monday, Morocco’s Ministry of Education announced a multi-thematic initiative to fund research projects with a budget of MAD 170 million ($18.27 million). The education ministry, the OCP Foundation, the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University, and the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research (CNRST) launched the call for projects.
The “APR & D2020” initiative focuses on priority fields, such as health, the environment, agriculture, the agri-food industry, fishing and water, natural resources, and renewable energy.
Other key fields include the aeronautical and automotive industries; transport, logistics, and advanced technologies; education and training; and human sciences and social issues.
The Ministry of Education also announced a MAD 40 million ($4.3 million) research and development program in partnership with Germany. Falling within the framework of Moroccan-German cooperation for the year 2021, the objective of the program is to promote scientific research.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Morocco is doubling its efforts to foster research and innovation.