The twinning project continues to drive Tunisian science internationally.
As part of the “Institutional support to improve the capabilities of the Tunisian research and innovation system”twinning project, the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has organised a webinar on the subject of “Scientific Diplomacy” for the key players in the governance of the Tunisian research and innovation system.
The project is funded by the European Union and managed by the FIIAPP, and aims to improve the competitiveness of the Tunisian economy and its integration into the world economy, particularly in Europe.
The conferences, which were held remotely, consisted of a series of presentations, training sessions and debates that aim to boost Tunisian science internationally. The activity is designed to improve the country’s capacity to take part in European programmes and to internationalise its research and innovation system.
The sessions also explored the challenges of scientific diplomacy in the Tunisian and European context, and its implications for different issues: defining and discussion of concepts, skills to developed, types of scientific diplomacy and its networks, stakeholders, approaches, development in the regional context of the EU and case studies.
One issue of particular relevance currently, which was addressed throughout the conference is the hand of scientific diplomacy in the management of the crisis caused by COVID-19 . The pandemic has exacerbated existing tensions between states in all areas, including science and technology. At the same time, scientific diplomacy has played a constructive role in addressing global issues such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, sustainable development and global health. These are areas where international science thrives and the value of this cooperation is evident. One good example of this is the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has provided a space for the development of international cooperation in climate science.
In the field of science and innovation, Tunisia is the only country associated with the European Union research programme, which gives it a competitive advantage over its neighbours and provides great opportunity for cooperation and participation in European projects. Moreover, Tunisia is ranked fifteenth in the world in the production of scientific articles in relation to its GDP. This illustrates the scientific potential of this country.