Considering the increase of the political and diplomatic relations between the Portuguese Republic and the Ismaili Imamat, and their common goals regarding the incentive and strengthening of scientific competencies and capacities in a sustained international cooperation framework, a Protocol of Cooperation between the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the Portuguese Republic (MCTES) and the Ismaili Imamat was signed on May 2016.
This partnership is embed in the Initiative Knowledge for Development, promoted by MCTES, and includes new actions for the revitalisation of the agenda “Ciência Global” with African Portuguese-speaking countries, launched in 2009, and strengthened and stimulated through this cooperation as well as other related actions, like the recently created ”Ciência LP” – International Centre for Advanced Training of Scientists from Portuguese Speaking Countries in Basic Sciences, as a category 2 centre, under the auspices of UNESCO.
The intention, through this protocol, is to establish the launch of a new joint initiative aimed for the strengthening of the scientific and technologic academy cooperation with countries and regions in development, through the scientific empowerment directed for promising researchers with recognized experience, which tackles the current topics of global importance, promoting the multidisciplinary collaboration and that guaranties the financial resources and enough length to allow the effective impact in those regions and countries.
The foreseen actions in the protocol will be implemented by FCT, representing MCTES, and by Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), representing Ismaili Imamat.
Through this partnership, and under the protocol, FCT and Aga Khan have launched two Call for proposals of Transnational Projects in the scope of the Initiative Knowledge for Development:
Under the scope of this Call for Proposals, 16 projects were funded under the joint investment of FCT and AKDN, in a total of 4,6 million euros.
The 16 projects are being monitored by the External Scientific Review Panel (ESRP), a committee of experts with recognized experience in Quality of Life in Africa, selected by both FCT and AKDN, whose main responsibilities are the continuous monitoring and evaluation of the funded project. ESRP will supervise not only the scientifically results but also the scientific impact of the project in human development and quality of life, their work is based on the analysis of the projects evolution having as a basis the annual progress reports, as well as the personalized follow-up of all 16 projects.
The panel is headed by Professor António Rendas, from Universidade Nova de
Lisboa and member of Aga Khan University Board of Trustees, and composed
- Professor Mohamed Azzim Gulamhussen, Vlerick Business School / ISCTE-IUL Business School;
- Professor Jaime Nina, Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical;
- Professor Pedro Pousão, instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera;
- Professora Helena Nazaré, Universidade de Aveiro.