£600,000 a year to solve our problems

April 27, 2001

A Swiss foundation that aims to enhance Geneva's role in international cooperation, solving problems relating to peace, human rights, equitable social relations and sustainable development, has called for project proposals.

The Geneva International Academic Network has annual funding worth SFr1.5 million (£610,000). A maximum of SFr500,000 will be given to each project annually. Small grants of up to SFr 50,000 cash is also available for urgent projects.

The network, which is backed by the Swiss federal government and the republic and canton of Geneva, aims to provide a framework for capitalising on the reservoir of local know-how through partnerships between academic institutions and international organisations in the Geneva area.

Claude Raffestin, president of the network's scientific committee, said that its challenge was to integrate the theoretical interests of academic disciplines with the real needs of problem-solving in society.

The network will promote research, teaching and training activities, as well as providing consultancy and other services in the area of international relations. "It is knowledge for solving problems," said Maurice Bourquin, rector of the University of Geneva.

Jean-Luc Maurer, director of the Graduate Institute of Development Studies, one of the networks' founding partners, said: "The network will organise, intensify and energise relations between the international organisations in Geneva and the academic world."

The organisations that make up the network include founding institutions of higher education such as the University of Geneva and international organisations such as the United Nations office in Geneva and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The deadline for the first round of submissions is late May.

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