17 June 2013
Category : Interview
End of the Scientific Research Project in Morocco
On 18 June, we ended one of our projects in Morocco: “Supporting the National Research System for its Integration into the European Space”, and, to mark the event, the FIIAPP brought together a number of experts from universities and the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid, Barcelona and Seville. They shared the ideas, objectives and conclusions of the project related to Moroccan scientific research and technology.
We interviewed Rafael Rodríguez, project leader on behalf of Spain, who told us how the work went in Morocco:
Have the objectives set out at the start of this project in Morocco been achieved?
Yes, and not only the initial objectives: we have in fact gone slightly beyond our original target. Tangible results have been achieved which represent benefits for some of those involved in Science and Technology in Morocco. In addition, on a research project you resolve one problem and identify two others. In this regard, other needs arose. Specifically, they are now asking us for assistance to reform their tertiary education system and to improve the knowledge transfer system, which is an extremely important political objective.
We will study the possibility of another project of this kind, either a collaboration between Spain and Morocco or, like this one, between Spain, France and Morocco, given that the collaboration with our French colleagues has been magnificent.
How could this cooperation project affect the daily lives of the Moroccan people?
We will only know that in the long term. In the short term, the project has contributed to improving the quality of the organisational system and the science and technology system.
In addition, the project coincided with an important political change: the approval of the current constitution last year. And in some political discourses and legislative texts we have seen the recommendations proposed by the experts, mainly Spanish and French, to the Moroccans. I think we can say that the project has had a positive impact.
In planning the project, it was clear that there was a need for the government to encourage the private sector to become more involved in research. Has that been achieved?
Some advances have been made. But we must take into account the fact that in Morocco there are very few large industries, the majority are small and medium enterprises, and that sector is less receptive.
However, we had a pleasant surprise: Morocco has a policy for the training of associations by industrial sectors. So, one of the most successful activities was to put Moroccan groups into contact with the European technological platforms which group together companies in certain sectors. This has permitted the integration of Moroccan agents into these platforms. This was one specific, practical result and an immediate benefit for Morocco.
Are you satisfied with the work that has been done?
Of course. We have done a great deal of work, more than we thought, and that influences the quality of the result. The reports on the missions and the documents that have been produced are of very high quality, very meticulous, and they reflect the good work that has been done.
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