The 4th Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the ECO Science Foundation
Following the 5th meeting of the executive committee of ECO-SF, the 4th meeting of the ECO Foundation's Board of Trustees, with the participation of high-level member states of ECO was held on 9th July 2019.
In this meeting 8 member states and more than 15 directors and representatives of various organizations of the member states were present, where the policy and planning of the ECO Science Foundation's activities in the region, for the next two years were discussed.
The event was headed by H.E. Minister Gholami, Iranian Minister of Science, Research and Technology, and H.E. Minister Fawad Husssain Chaudhary, minister of Science and Innovation of Republic of Pakistan.
In this meeting, Minister Gholami emphasized on the importance of the ECOSF into various fields of undertaking joint venture research projects, transfer of technology, exchange of students, scientists and researchers, as well as making the most of the regional and local expertise. He added that “Now that the ECO-SF is in its 9th year of establishment, I am pleased to announce that I.R of Iran as an ECO Member State and the host of ECO Secretariat, along with the other member states, in particular, the I. R of Pakistan, has continuously hosted and supported the ECO-SF in various fields of science and technology. And so, upon this occasion, I would like to once again, express MSRT and Iran’s full support to the ECO-SF”.
He also made the following points about ECO science and Technology cooperation:
First, as it was initially raised by the I.R of Iran in the previous BoTs, the ECO Science Foundation and the ECO Region in an extended level, needs a “Road Map” for science and technology cooperation. This road map would help us identify: Where does the region’s science and technology stand in the world? Which approach and path is the most feasible one? And what is our mid- and long term aim and position in the world?
This is needless to say, that a very good step into this roadmap has been taken by identifying ECO’s priorities for science and technology cooperation, for which I am thankful to you all.
Second, the ECO-SF has carried out remarkable work over the past years that indeed deserve our appreciation. However, the countries in the region are in need of entering newer and more serious phases ad fields of science and technology cooperation.
In addition to holding seminars, workshops and international conferences that are indeed very useful events, I would like to suggest for the ECO-SF to actively participate into other fields of cooperation such as holding joint projects, undertaking technology transfer, and exchanging students, researchers and academics. Moreover, it is of utmost importance to make most of the experiences of other regional organizations and their application in the local-regional context.
Third, all countries in the region, including Iran, are facing more or less similar economic problems, for which the brutal and anti-human rights sanctions of the United States have made the existing difficulties worse.
Although we believe that science, technology should not be sanctioned, and we are certain that Iran will successfully get through today's difficult conditions, but we are also sure that based on the existing potentials and capabilities, us and the ECO region need a more detailed plan, that can help us obtain the most appropriate understanding of the existing challenges and difficulties.
Furthermore, he noted that “there are currently the total of about 4 million students in Iran, 1 million of which are undertaking their postgraduate studies. According to ISI and Scopus, the Islamic Republic of Iran has had the highest rate of increase in terms of scientific production over the past 10 years, in the world.
Iran also has 43 Science and Technology Parks, and according to the Times Higher Education, 29 Iranian universities are among the world's top universities, and with such great potentials, I hereby announce Iran’s readiness in supporting the ECO-FS with all its capacities”.