This article was originally published on the ASREN website.
Under the Patronage of Prof. Amr Ezzat Salama, Secretary General of the Association of Arab Universities and Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of TAG.GLOBAL, the Arab States Research and education Network (ASREN) successfully conducted its 11th annual conference virtually during the period 13-15 December 2021, with the participation of more than 110 representatives from 44 countries.
The e-AGE21 offered a window for global collaboration by gathering more than 50 distinguished speakers and experts from across the research, education and science communities around the world presenting and discussing issues on research and education infrastructures, NRENs developments and challenges, Science Cooperation, Open Science and Open Access, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Climate Actions, Earth Observation and more.
The e-AGE21 opening session was attended by a large number of high-level officials and representatives including; the League of Arab States, the Association of Arab Universities, Ministries of Higher Education of Oman, Palestine and Yemen, representatives from the European Commission (DG-RTD and DG-INTPA) and the Higher Council of Science and Technology in Jordan. Regional Research and Education Networks including GÉANT, WACREN, Ubuntunet Alliance, RedCLARA, and Internet2 were also present in addition to SESAME, NSRC and Internet Society. With focus on policy messages, the necessity of cooperation at the global level to support and facilitate research, education and science collaboration globally, were emphasized.
HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of ASREN and TAG.GLOBAL emphasized the necessity of research for the purpose of innovation: “Today, after more than 10 years in existence, we are very proud of ASREN’s outstanding achievements in advancing the Arab e-Infrastructure towards enhancing education and advancing science and technology. In the coming years, we aspire to become a catalyst for innovation in the Arab region, by adopting the “Research for Innovation” approach and we will include it as a high priority in our future plans. And, we hereby call for the support and collaboration of the research and education leaders from around the world to make this vision a living reality.” Dr. Abu Ghazaleh said. He further acknowledged the role of the European Union in co-funding high-speed networks in the context of AFRICACONNECT and EUMEDCONNECT projects. “These projects were instrumental in the developments in our region”, he added.
HE Prof. Amr Salama, Secretary General of the Association of Arab Universities also emphasized the need for cooperation between national and regional organizations. He said: “Open Science and Open Educational Resources are essential for science, research, education and innovation. We must cooperate at all levels to support and promote open science initiatives in the Arab region by involving more stakeholders and establishing more partnerships between the Arab countries to encourage knowledge sharing”. He concluded by affirming that “the Association of Arab Universities and ASREN are working together to facilitate this cooperation to increase OS and OER accessibility in the entire Arab region.”