Second activity report (2005-2006)
The ESTIME project (Evaluation of Scientific and Technological capabilities in MEditerranean countries) aims at the description of the scientific and technological capabilities in 8 research partners countries of the Mediterranean (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Palestinian Territories).
The investigation concerns all of scientific activities, including the social and human sciences. It is funded by the European Union for a whole period of two years and a half (September 2004 to February 2007).
The project would like to draw a synthetic vision on science and technology in these countries by proposing:
A statistical overview based on bibliometrics analysis of the scientific production (publications in all fields of science on a ten years period);
A description of the research institutions, higher education institutions and science and technology policies ;
An analysis of the dynamics of research activities in a choice of disciplines, based on interviews with laboratory and research personnel previously identified by the bibliometrics analysis;
An analysis of the uses of science and scientific results (relations of research centres with enterprises, development of innovation projects, activities of R&D in enterprises, NGOs activities that work with public sector researchers);
An analysis of the social sciences. They need a specific treatment because of methodological problems. World bibliographic databases cover poorly the production in these countries, specifically the non-occidental social sciences.
Macro-bibliometric indicators have been delivered with data until 2001 and published as information provisional leaflets by OST. See article here. OST will have to add figures for more recent period. Last figures published are based on ISI data for year 2001-02. OST is mandated to produce figures for more recent years.
Microbibliometrics, that is data on publications at the level of institutions and cities, are delivered on a case by case basis. Most will be completed by the end of November 2006 (data up to 2005) by IRD. Analysis is performed on the PASCAL database, a french multi-disciplinary database.
Specific bibliometrics for the Social Science:
Analysis of social production in Maghreb countries. “Fondation Abdul Azziz” and IRD. No equivalent database exists in other Arab countries.
A database of social scientists in Machreq countries (Lebanon, Jordan and Syria) based on a survey (on-going) in the social sciences only.
The initially planned work in Egypt with the Faculty of Arts (Sociology) has been delayed due to the difficulties in the negotiations with the Ministry of research.
Identification of research teams for field work:
Research teams have been identified in different countries. Fieldwork is on going in Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, and Palestinian territories. The fieldwork in Algeria and Jordan is finished and reports written.
Field work activity is mainly interviewing of researchers or research managers in the eight countries of the project. In all countries, such a work has been done. In some cases, delays have occurred (see under the heading “Activity per country” of this periodic activity report). In Egypt, it must be underlined that no interviewing has been done under the project in the natural and exact sciences. The project is still waiting for an answer from the Ministry of Research.
Workshops and meetings
Given the difficulty to organize large encounters, we opted for specific workshops instead of two large intermediate meetings as was initially planned. In the period under review, we organized two meetings:
A social sciences workshop, Paris Expert Meeting (28 November 2005)
A science policy meeting : Evaluation workshop, Algiers (3 July 2006)
The following meetings will be held in November and December 2006 (after this reporting period):
An “innovation and uses of research” workshop in November 2006 (23 to 24 November in Casablanca);
A field-work workshop titled “Dynamic of research” in December 2006 (7 to 9 December in Beirut).
Additionally, a joint ASBIMED-ESTIME meeting took place in Barcelona in October 2005. This meeting has been instrumental in advancing both projects.
The Final Meeting will be held either jointly with the MoCo meeting or in some European country presumably in June 2007. (Update: Finally was held in Tunisia)
The web site which was created in the first period is now running and the maintenance is on going. (http://www.estime.ird.fr/ ). The web site contains material produced by the local teams and the coordination team: announcements, reports, etc.. Some restricted reports are posted on a specific space ands accessed by login/password.
The participation of each country is different in the project. Research teams have been identified everywhere but not on all subjects. National authorities or persons dedicated to science policy analysis have been contacted everywhere and all, except one, have answered favourably and participate to the project.
The project until now has been mainly gathering information in each country independently. Workshops showed a wealth of information that needs to be formatted, interpreted, presented and disseminated adequately. A serious intellectual effort needs also to be undertaken in order to interpret the data and compare the research and technology systems in all the countries.
We have sufficient information in order to:
complete the statistical and institutional analysis of all countries of the project (excepting Egypt and Syria). We will also engage in a critical assessment of information needs.
complete a bibliometric analysis at institutional level and macro level on 7 countries (excepting Palestine);
compare macro and micro bibliometric data. A specific report will be issued under the project.
undertake the description of the research institutions, higher education institutions and science and technology policies on six or seven countries (depending upon final information to be available form Syria) ;
undertake an analysis of the dynamics of research activities based on interviews and CVs of researchers. This is an essential empirical aspect in order to understand the formation of scientific communities in the countries of the project.
undertake an analysis of innovation surveys in at least two countries and policies on innovation in six countries (relations of research centres with enterprises, development of innovation projects, activities of R&D in enterprises, NGOs activities that work with public sector researchers);
engage the discussion on the “system of innovation” in Mediterranean countries and the participation of Mediterranean partner countries to the European research space and the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean innovation space. A specific report is on-going on this aspect.
undertake an analysis of the social sciences and funding sources in the Middle East and an analysis of social sciences production in Maghreb countries. A specific publication is under writing.
Details on work performed in each country would make this summary too long. Nonetheless, it should be underlined that in each country a massive effort has been done to obtain information and to build a collaborative network of researchers. Without fear we can mention at least fifty researchers or government officials have been engaged in the project. In its last fase, after gathering information, the project will turn to a reflective and analytical phase. After February 2007, results should become available publicly in various forms explained in the next section.
Intentions for use and impact
Most of the results are intermediate reports and working documents. A lost of information is still confidential since it concerns Curriculum vitae of interviewed persons. Most of the public results are available on the website: http://www.estime.ird.fr/
Several projects for publications are under discussion:
As a result of the Evaluation Meeting, which was held in Algiers, during July 2006, a publication on Evaluation methods and practice in the region will be published in Algeria. The French version will take the form of a special issue of the journal “Les Cahiers du CREAD”. The English summary version will be published as part of the final report of the project.
As a result of the study concerning innovation in Morocco, all the partners gathered several times to decide a publication on innovation and R&D in Morocco. It will probably be published as a special issue of the economics journal “Critique Economique”. Critique Economique is a well distributed journal of high standard.
More projects are under discussion:
A special book in Arabic (and one in French) will be published based upon the material that will be presented in the Beirut workshop in December 2006.
A book by Fondation Abdul Azziz will be published in February 2007 on social sciences production in Maghreb countries (publication in Casablanca in Arabic and French).
More translations to Arabic will be done of articles published in French/English on the website.
A special issue of the journal Science Technology & Society has been discussed with editors.
All reports of the project will be discussed in the intermediate meetings (Casablanca & Beirut) and at the Final meeting. Opportunities for publication will be sought actively.
It is now planned to produce 12 reports :
7 country reports:
4 strategic reports:
National systems of research in Mediterrean countries
The production of science of Mediterrean countries ; a bibliometric analysis
Innovation, technology and uses of science in Mediterrean countries
A panorama of social sciences in Mediterrean countries
One final report for the overall project.