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Engineering and basic sciences

Photo of a detector of the CERN experiment CMS
© ellengwallace (Flickr CC)

UNESCO Engineering Initiative

The Association of German Engineers (VDI) and the German Commission for UNESCO present "Quality Engineering for Sustainability", a German contribution to the "UNESCO Engineering Initiative". This project builds on a partnership with German companies that operate worldwide, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and TU9, an alliance of nine leading technical universities in Germany. The project works closely with UNESCO and the German federal government.

"Quality Engineering for Sustainability" offers to improve engineering students' education worldwide. The project makes available the proven best practice of German engineering education. Offers are currently developed for engineering students of universities in six target countries.

For more information please visit:  

International Basic Science Programme

UNESCO strengthens regional cooperation in the basic sciences. Examples are an African network in neuro science or a network in theoretical physics in South Eastern Europe. From 2005 to 2008, the IBSP has supported a joint project from Germany, India, Kenya and Ethiopia on the tropical algae arthrospira. Potential IBSP projects can be proposed to UNESCO at any time.

Large research institutions

In 1954, UNESCO has helped to establish the European particle physics laboratory CERN in Geneva. CERN has been a ground-breaking example of fostering peaceful international cooperation in and through the sciences.

Together with IAEA, UNESCO has since 1964 supported the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, a centre that contributes substantially to the advancement of basic sciences in developing countries. More than 6.000 scientists from 120 countries visit the ICTP every year. The ICTP is one of two UNESCO “Category I” centres in the sciences.

The synchrotron laboratory SESAME in Jordan is modelled after the example of CERN. SESAME is a centre jointly established and run by more than a dozen countries in the Middle East, including Israel. The SESAME buildings have been inaugurated in November 2008, with Prof. Herwig Schopper having been the chairman of SESAME’s scientific council until that date. The core machine for SESAME is a donation from the German government; it was previously installed at the Berlin laboratory BESSY.

Renewable Energies

© Allessandro Ronchi

UNESCO promotes renewable energies trough policy advice, capacity-building, education and awareness-raising. With the “GREET programme” UNESCO has trained several hundred specialists and stakeholders at the political level. With the Solar Villages, UNESCO demonstrates to local decision makers the potential of renewable energies for reducing poverty and enhancing living conditions.

Science education

UNESCO plays a major role in the exchange of best practice on science education worldwide, through global and regional fora and through collaborating with global associations, dealing for example with physics or mathematics teaching. UNESCO's objective is to globally increase the number of young scientists, technicians and engineers. UNESCO also offers tangible support to developing countries to improve science education through the provision of micro-science kits.

UNESCO Website on the basic and engineering sciences



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