Collaboration between Jordanian scientists abroad and their peers in the country is fundamental to advance scientific research and drive economic development and growth, experts said Thursday.
The experts, who included officials, academics and private sector representatives, made their remarks at the first conference of Jordanian Scientists and Technologists Abroad (JoSTA-Network).
In a speech at the conference, HRH Princess Sumaya, president of the Royal Scientific Society, stressed the importance of scientific research and collaboration between scientists.
In her inauguration speech on behalf of HRH Prince Hassan, Princess Sumaya said: “The main constraints to employing science and technology, and innovation for economic development might be described as the four ‘m’s’: mindset, money, management and market. Each issue offers its own challenges but a holistic approach to reform and development can melt multiple barriers.”
“We need national strategies and regional networking to nurture talent and stem the brain drain that continues to be the shame of our age,” she noted.
The conference is one of the activities of the national programme “Reversing Jordanian Brain Drain” supported by the Scientific Research Fund and approved by the Council of Ministers.
“Scientific research is crucial for the advancement of the country’s economy, and higher education institutions have a great role to play in this respect. Therefore, cooperation between Jordanian scientists is important in this field,” Abdullah Zu’bi, director general of the Scientific Research Support Fund, said at the conference, which concluded Thursday and featured a number of parallel workshops on Wednesday.
The official reviewed the role of the fund in supporting scientific research, adding that it extended some JD20 million since 2008 to support some 276 scientific research projects in the areas of energy, water, agriculture, pharmaceuticals and others.
At the event, Kamal Bani Hani, president of the Hashemite University, said collaboration between Jordanian scientists abroad and their peers at universities is necessary to provide students with better opportunities.
It is important to exchange expertise on how to develop scientific research, conduct joint academic studies, exchange students and faculty, among other areas, Bani Hani said.
Several participants highlighted the importance of benefiting from the expertise of Jordanian scientists to develop businesses and realise further growth in many economic sectors.
Launched by the Higher Council for Science and Technology (HCST)in 2014, the JoSTA-Network seeks to encourage Jordanian scientists living abroad to work for the Kingdom virtually and physically through the implementation of joint research, development activities and business ventures.
Jordan has 2,000 scientists per 1 million people, while the average in Organisation of Islamic Cooperation countries is 500 scientists for every 1 million, according to the HCST.
JoSTA is reaching out to Jordanian scientists and technologists abroad via different means including the Kingdom’s diplomatic missions, the Internet and international agencies.