Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UN University unveils plans for a global centre on innovation and development in The Netherlands

04.02.2005


A proposal to merge the Maastricht based United Nations University Institute for New Technologies (UNU-INTECH) with the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT) would create a major global research centre focusing on innovation and development. The combined facility would be the largest of its kind in the application of new technologies to help the developing world

Under a one-year transitional arrangement, in which the newly appointed UNU-INTECH director, Professor Luc Soete will continue to head MERIT (a research institute of Maastricht University), United Nations University will investigate modalities for strengthening the Institute by relating its work more closely to expertise existing in Maastricht University. During the year, a new organizational set-up, and the financial arrangements for its long term independence and governing structure and continued full integration in the worldwide network that is the United Nations University (UNU) will be worked out.

The eventual merger, which is subject to approval by the governing councils of UNU and Maastricht University, would achieve a critical mass of over 100 researchers from developed and developing countries. By its sheer size and capacity to generate knowledge on pressing contemporary problems, the new centre would significantly boost UNU’s contribution to the work of the United Nations. UNU is an international community of scholars whose mandate is to generate and transfer knowledge, and strengthen capacities relevant to promoting human security and development.



UNU-INTECH and MERIT have had a long history of cooperation, through their joint PhD programme in economics and policy studies of technical change. Thirty students, a majority from developing countries, are participating in the programme. By bringing together and consolidating the research programmes of the two institutes, the new research centre would be able to provide cutting edge knowledge in five broad areas: (i) micro-based evidence research; (ii) macroeconomics of technology, growth and development; (iii) industrial dynamics; (iv) international business strategies; and (v) governance of science, technology and innovation.

Addressing the first joint staff meeting of the two institutes in January, Professor Soete argued that the research “division of labour” between the two institutes envisioned in the late 80’s appears increasingly old fashioned and meaningless. At that time, MERIT was expected to focus primarily on its national, European role and advanced country role, while UNU-INTECH would address broader development issues and the developing world in particular.

Increasingly, the impacts of technological change are felt across borders thus challenging the traditional focus on national research, he said. Beyond that, the landmark political changes in Central and Eastern Europe have given rise to the rapid development of a new category of countries - the countries in transition – many of which entered the European Union in May 2004. In this context, the two institutes offer some natural “geographical” synergies that can be readily exploited, namely INTECH’s UNU global research and policy network and MERIT’s local, national and European research and policy network. “All the pieces appear in place to reap these synergies”, he added.

Professor Soete outlined three broad strategic aims for the merged UNU institute:

1. Achieve world class research “excellence” not just within the economics discipline but also across other social sciences of direct relevance to the study of innovation and development, including knowledge transfer;
2. Focus on the policy aspects and relevance of the research, not just limited to national and local policy makers in advanced and developing countries but also more globally in relation to UN and other international organizations;
3. Provide training and capacity building programmes at both the academic (PhD) and policy level.

He stressed, therefore, that he is strongly in favour of an eventual merger, but this proposal would not be based on financial or organizational necessity “… even though there are likely to be significant economies of scale, which could be realised under a merger. The motivation for putting effort and energy in bringing a merger about is first and foremost intellectual. The lead for investigating integration possibilities is clearly a content one. At the same time this lead is embedded in the drive to create a centre of research excellence which has the potential to become of world significance.”

These developments are in line with the Dutch government’s strategy of creating a knowledge cluster to catalyze economic development in the southern part of the country. The establishment of the University of Limburg in 1976 (later renamed Maastricht University) was part of a such an explicit regional policy to generate, alongside the further enlargement of the university in the social sciences, a number of independent research institutes, which would benefit from the concentration of the knowledge infrastructure in the city of Maastricht, the capital of the most southern province of The Netherlands.

Wangu Mwangi | alfa
Further information:
http://www.intech.unu.edu

More articles from Science Education:

nachricht Starting school boosts development
11.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht New Master’s programme: University of Kaiserslautern educates experts in quantum technology
15.03.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

All articles from Science Education >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New gene catalog of ocean microbiome reveals surprises

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Astrophysicists explain the mysterious behavior of cosmic rays

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

AI implications: Engineer's model lays groundwork for machine-learning device

18.08.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>