Commonwealth Science Council to sharpen focus on technology and innovation

June 26, 2003

Brussels, 25 Jun 2003

The Commonwealth Science Council (CSC) is to revive itself with a renewal plan which will outline ways in which the organisation can increase its focus on technology and innovation related issues.

The CSC, which includes the UK, Cyprus and Malta, as well as 34 other countries from Africa, Australasia, Asia and the Americas, promotes scientific collaboration between its members. In recent years, some have, however, begun to question the effectiveness of the council.

At its 21st meeting in Johannesburg, the CSC therefore asked its executive committee to develop a plan to help its member countries to make better use of their scientific and technological resources. Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology in South Africa, and current chair of the council Ben Ngubane said in a statement that he had been entrusted by the Commonwealth to reform the CSC 'in a manner that will enable it to optimally harness the potential of science and technology as key drivers of sustainable growth and development in the Commonwealth.'

Over the next four years, priority will also be awarded to research into water and mineral resources, biodiversity and genetic resources, chemical research and environmental needs, and scientific networking.

A separate colloquium held prior to the Johannesburg meeting called on the council's developing country members to increase their efforts to create national systems of innovation. Kumar Bhattacharryya, leader of the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the UK's University of Warwick, also called on scientists in these countries to strive for research results that address domestic problems instead of focusing on winning Nobel prizes.

For further information on the CSC, please consult the following web address:

CORDIS RTD-NEWS / © European Communities

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