What is ASTF in brief?
Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) is non-governmental, non-profit, independent, regional and international organization, brings together the Arab scientists inside and outside the Arab world, with the aim of utilizing local and expatriate expertise to serve the Arab region. ASTF complements the existing scientific and technological efforts in the Arab world avoiding repetition and competition, also it represents the Arab aspirations for an enormous technological revolution, and its activities exercise an immediate and direct impact on the Arab scientific community.
ASTF Looks forward to receiving material and moral support from all benefactors, in order to be able to preserve its independence and fulfill its mission in the fields of science and technology.
Why was ASTF established?
ASTF was established in response to:
- The disconcerting discrepancy between the Arab countries and the West in the fields of science and technology.
- The widening gap that separates Arab scientists from the development needs of their countries.
- The alienation existing among Arab organizations of scientific research.
- The pressing need for an umbrella organization for all Arab scientists of all affiliations.
How was ASTF founded?
The first spark for the establishment of ASTF started in the Sharjah University, where the first Symposium of “Scientific Research Outlook” in the Arab World that held during 24th -26th April 2000. The decision instituting the establishment of ASTF came as a natural outcome of the need felt by Arab scientists from inside and outside the Arab world, to establish an Arab organization that could combine the dispersed Arab scientific efforts all over the world, in service to development issues in the totality of Arab countries. The city of Sharjah in the UAE was unanimously chosen by the Arab scientists, who were responsible for bringing into existence a new science foundation to host its headquarters. The immediate approval of the idea by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qassimi, the Ruler of Sharjah, gave it great momentum. ASTF's headquarters has all the elements of success, a fact that the Arab scientists realized at that time.
What is ASTF's vision?
ASTF aspires to be an influential Arab and international entity, supporting the efforts of Arab scientists and researchers, and defending the interests of the region in the fields of technology and science, as well as protecting humanity from the hazards and the negative effects of technological developments.
Moreover, ASTF seeks not only to strengthen the links between universities and research centers inside and outside the Arab world through joint projects, agreements and programs, but also to attract businesses, companies and individuals capable of allocating endowments to fund research posts in those fields that are vital for the Arab countries.
What is ASTF's mission?
The Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) missions are:
- Identify and support outstanding scientific research activities, that being conducted in the fields of science and technology in the Arab world.
- Attempts to act as a mediator between those who develop and fund the scientific research and who benefit from it.
- Being the first organization to bring together scientists from inside and outside the Arab world, with the aim of utilizing local and expatriate expertise to serve the Arab world and the humanity in general.
- Becoming main center for assisting the performance of scientific programs, and branding as powerful international Arab organization that defends the region's interests in scientific and technological progress.
What are ASTF's goals?
ASTF aims to:
- Develop and mobilize human resources in support of scientific and technological research projects, according to their merit and consistency with development priorities.
- Support all forms of coordination in selected fields of research in science and technology, and adopt joint programs between individuals and scientific organizations in these fields according to relevancy to development.
- Conduct studies and organize expert meetings, workshops and symposiums to grab attention to the scientific and technological issues that have a bearing on the priorities of development.
- Promote cooperation and set up specialized networks, and exchange programs, between organizations interested in developing scientific and technological capabilities in the Arab countries and their counterparts in the developed and developing countries.
Is there a charter for ASTF?
ASTF operates according to the Charter approved by 50 distinguished Arab scientists in the First ASTF Meeting.
How is ASTF organized?
ASTF's organizational structure is as follows:
- Board of Trustees, Have a general supervisory role, and chaired by the Honorary Chairman.
- Board of Directors, who oversee the Foundation’s operations, and the execution of its resolutions and programs.
- Advisory Board, who have an advisory role helping ASTF in the formulation of future orientations.
What are ASTF's spheres of interest?
- Arab Science and Technology.
- Arab scientific expertise abroad.
- Human resources development in the fields of science and technology.
- Technology transfer.
What are ASTF's aspects of distinction?
- Autonomy: ASTF's financial independence provides freedom of interaction, with regional and international parties unaffected by political turmoil.
- Responsiveness: ASTF reacts promptly to the innovations and ideas of the Arab scientific community.
- Convergence: ASTF is aware of the research’s needs, and priorities of individuals and research institutions in the Arab world.
- Linkage: ASTF’s networks facilitate the communication among the Arab scientists all over the world.
- Flexibility: the Flexible organizational structure facilitates meeting the new challenges.
- Focus: ASTF's programs concentrate on specific research areas that considered to high priority for the Arab region’s development. .
- Sustainability: ASTF enjoys financial and political stability provided by Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.
- Credibility: ASTF has the ability to leverage funds and human resources from other partners.
- Impartiality: ASTF treats the Arab world as one entity, without bias towards or against any country.
What are ASTF's sources of distinction?
- The Emiri Decree from the Ruler of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates supports ASTF's independence, and gives it flexibility in its regional and international relations.
- The Endowment secures the Foundation's financial independence.
- ASTF's Charter was drafted by a group of eminent Arab scientists.
- ASTF's financial transactions are subject to strict auditing by one of the most reputable auditing firms in the Arab world.
- ASTF's Board of Directors is comprised of distinguished Arab scientific figures whose credibility is beyond doubt.
- The excellent environment provided by the United Arab Emirates that is characterized by neutrality, transparency and seriousness.
How does ASTF works?
ASTF help in:
- Providing financial and technical support.
- Selecting certain scientific fields to be the center of interest.
- Utilizing information technology in service to Arab Research and Development activities.
- Activating the role of the business sector, to support the research projects inside the Arab world.
- Establishing exchange programs between Arab organizations of science and technology.
- Organizing scientific conferences that gather Arab scientists, to study and discuss the latest scientific and technological developments.
- Leveraging the expertise of Arab scientists abroad to change "Brain Drain" into "Brain Gain" for the sake of accelerating the process of development in the Arab world.
- Increasing the opportunity of Arab scientists abroad to meet with their peers inside the Arab world.
What are ASTF's future orientations?
- Offering grants to support distinguished research projects.
- Starting independent and joint research and development projects.
- Networking Arab researchers all over the world.
What are ASTF's financial resources?
The Endowment: His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qassimi - Ruler of Sharjah- donated $1 million, out of his private funds, to the Endowment. Efforts are currently being made to enrich the Endowment. The Endowment is expected to reach no less than $100,000,000, which is the minimum amount that would enable the Foundation to fulfill its mission. The proceeds of the Endowment are the main source of revenue for ASTF. 80% of the annual revenues are used to support the Foundation's budget, while 20% are reinvested in the Endowment.
Other Financial Resources:
- Returns of ASTF's research and development activities.
- Proceeds of ASTF's programs of human resources development for the Arab science institutions.
- Grants, gifts and donations not directed to the Endowment.
How is ASTF's finance controlled?
ASTF's finance is subject to strict financial control, as all financial accounts audited by an established auditor whose reports will be endorsed by ASTF's Board of Trustees.ASTF publishes an annual bulletin to inform supporters of the scientific outcome of their investments.
What are ASTF's Channels of Expenditure?
- Grants supporting scientific research projects conducted by individual scientists.
- Participation in priority research projects adopted by the Foundation.
- Supporting, establishing and equipping the scientific centers of excellence in the priority fields.
- Developing the Arab scientists’ database.
- Developing the Arab internet portal for science and technology.
- Establishment of specialized scientific committees for the sake of exchanging Arab expertise and technology.
Why was ASTF founded in the UAE?
1. Continuous Support:
While the idea of the Foundation was making its way into reality, ASTF received strong support that took expression in:
- The initiative taken by His Highness - the Ruler of Sharjah - to donate $1 million, out of his private funds, to the Foundation, and his commitment to providing it with a material and administrative facilities worth $5 million, and to covering the expenses of the current headquarters and construction of a permanent one.
- Issuance of the Emiri Decree, which provides ASTF with unprecedented independence and flexibility in its regional and international relations.
2. Propitious Environment:
- All universities and colleges in UAE, provides a scientific environment conducive to research and development.
- Sharjah is the seat for a large number of public societies, and international organizations.
- The UAE is characterized by openness to the world, and its effective participation in the activities of the international community.
- The UAE prides itself on a promising scientific awakening.
- The UAE has developed an excellent infrastructure according to the highest international standards.
What are the economic returns of investment in Science and Technology for the Arab world?
- Increased competitiveness in the global markets.
- Reduced dependency on costly foreign expertise.
- Better opportunity for the private sector, to contribute to the scientific growth of the Arab region.
- Creation of thousands of job opportunities in the expected projects.
- A breaking-through in new promising areas of industry.