21 October 2020
New institute to foster Algerian–American research
Published online 27 December 2010
Algerian scientists working abroad hope that closer ties with their counterparts back home could foster the establishment of a new academic institute in Algeria to promote science in the North African country.
A new partnership between the Algerian-American Foundation for Culture, Education, Science and Technology in the United States and the ministry of research and development in Algeria seeks to promote stronger research ties between Algerian scientists working abroad and those back home.
Algeria has tried in the past to attract back its researchers in the West, but these efforts have had little success. In a conference organized by the Algerian-American Foundation in the Algerian capital Algiers in early December 2010, researchers discussed how to make use of the expertise of Algerian scientists overseas to promote science back home.
"This meeting acts as a bridge between Algeria and the United States in the field of science research, said Abd El-Hafid Aourag, minister of science research in Algeria. "We are trying to put mechanisms in place to help technology transfer to Algeria."
The meeting focused on extreme events management, health, and desertification — a major problem in over half of the Algerian governorates.
Farid Amirouche, CEO of the Algerian-American Foundation — which includes 350 Algerian researchers living in the United States — added that the partnership will help raise the standard of scientific research in Algeria.
A new research institute
The conference agreed to work on establishing a new applied research institute in Algeria focusing on environmental engineering, bioinformatics, biomechanics and bio-engineering. The institute, it is hoped, will have Algerian and American professors.
"This is an important step to benefit from our Algerian researchers overseas who cannot return home," said Azzedine Bousseksou,a researcher at the National Center for Scientific Research in France (CNRS).
Amirouche is hopeful the new institute will link with prominent US universities such as MIT, Georgetown University, University of Chicago or the University of Delaware.
Over 200 Algerian professors living in the United States have shown interest in teaching in the new institute, added Amirouche. Since most of them refuse to return permanently to Algeria, the institute will make use of visiting professors and video distant lecturing from the US.