The Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) organize Scientific gathering under the name of “Scientific Research outlook” (SRO) in the Arab World once every 2 years.

The Scientific Research Outlook considered as one of the most important Scientific gathering that focus on cooperation between the scientific research and the technological development, to achieve the ongoing development in the Arab World.

ASTF works on organizing this conference in order to: support and promote the cooperation between scientists, researchers, inventors, business men and companies that represents the academic organization, believing in that the cooperation in the process of scientific research give high quality and less cost products.

A lot of Arab and foreign Scientists participated in the scientific research outlook.

SRO I Overview

During 24-26 April 2000 the University of Sharjah organized an international scientific symposium under the name of "Scientific Research Outlook in the Arab World and the New Millennium: Science and Technology".

More than 400 Arab scientists from all over the world participated in the symposium, among them were leading figures in the scientific community at the Arab and international levels.  The conferees touched on various issues of scientific research that were categorized under specialized scientific topics, some of which covered aspects of scientific research in the Arab world and the others dealt with specialized themes in science and technology.

The first group of topics was discussed with a view to identifying the points of weakness in scientific research in the Arab world and finding ways to promote it, particularly in the fields of social and economic development, institutional scientific research and ways of encouraging and supporting researchers.  The second group of topics was dealt with in an effort to specify the orientation of research activities in those areas that are expected to have a great impact on the progress of science and technology in the first decades of the new millennium.

The symposium lasted for 3 days during which 30 sessions were held.  Parallel sessions were the dominant mode of delivery in the first two days, as stated in the Program Book.  This gave participants the opportunity to present more than 150 papers.  On the third day, however, some alterations were made to the program, as per the will of participants, so that the conferees could meet in one room to discuss the ways for overcoming the crisis of technological under development in the Arab world.  In this plenary session the participants expressed their desire to reach practical solutions and unequivocal resolutions that can put scientific and technological development at the forefront of Arab priorities and pave the way for the Arab nation to effectively benefit from Arab scientists from inside and outside the Arab world.  This dialogue brought forth a new spirit in the Arab scientific community when the participants called for the establishment of an independent Arab organization (non-governmental and nonprofit) that supports outstanding Arab scientific efforts within the framework of collective endeavors in service to the Arab world as a whole.  Thus, encouraged by the initiative of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al-Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Sharjah, the participants declared the establishment of the Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF), and chose the city of Sharjah to host its headquarters.  His Highness showed his full support for the nascent project by donating a million dollars, out of his private funds, to the newborn Foundation pledging to provide it with continuous support during the initial phase of its operation through the University of Sharjah.  The international program committee was entrusted with the initial operation of ASTF till the proper regulations are laid down.

Finally, we hope that we have been successful in documenting the proceedings of this unique symposium in a way that preserves the vigor of its activities.  We also hope that the recommendations and conclusions reached effectively contribute to the attainment of the major change desired.

SRO I Objectives:

  • Studying the current state of scientific research in the Arab World and its future in light of the technological transformation and globalization at the beginning of the new millennium. 
  • Proposing ways for striking a balance between developing and using modern technology and making original studies in new fields. 
  • Determining for the third millennium the sciences that will promote the sources of power in the Arab World and selecting new areas for scientific distinction in the next decade. 
  • Studying the role of scientific research in developing curricula and encouraging investment and defining the role of institutions of higher learning, scientific research and economic centers in the scientific awakening. 
  • Emphasizing the twining of modern sciences with technology on the one hand and the sciences indigenous to the Arab culture on the other. 
  • Assisting the role of various other sectors in society in supporting scientific and technological progress, especially the economic sector. Deepening Arab cooperation and complementarily in the field of scientific research

SRO III overview

After the distinguished success of the previous symposiums with regard to the scientific research in the Arab world, which were held in April 2000 and March 2002, the third symposium on scientific research and technology development in the Arab world was held in Riyadh city in the period between 14 & 17 Safar 1425 h on 7-4 April 2004.  This symposium was organized by King Abdel Aziz City for Science and Technology and the Arab Foundation for Science and Technology.  This symposium dealt with many important subjects related to the reality and future of science and technology in the Arab world.

The third symposium was held under the theme:"Science & Technology is the Key to Achieve the Arab Human Development".

SRO III Objectives

  • To activate the role of scientific research & technological development in meeting the lack of knowledge in the Arab world, which is considered one of the major factors that stand in the way of the scientific creativity and in achieving the human development in the Arab world.
  • To work towards achieving a whole and real vision for the current reality of the Arab scientific community and then analyzing what it produces and diagnosing its weaknesses in order to put forward successful solutions to develop it.
  • To encourage investment in science and technology and work the relate between the scientific research system and the investment system in the Arab region.
  • To encourage specialized scientific performance for the Arab scientists and professionals in the field of scientific research priorities in the Arab world.  Furthermore, to identify the distinguished experiences for the purpose of developing them and to get the scientific and practical benefit out of them.

SRO II Overview:

In collaboration with 18 scientific organizations, the Arab Science and Technology Foundation organized the Symposium on Scientific Research and Technological Development in the Arab World 2002, which is the second of a series of symposia (Scientific Research Outlook in the Arab World) the first of which was held on 24-26 April 2000 and came out with the Arab scientists’ historic resolution to establish the ASTF.

The time of the Symposium coincided with the 20th anniversary of the Arab Strategy for Science and Technology, which was set forth by the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO). The Symposium took place at the University City Hall in Sharjah, the city selected as the Cultural City of the Arab world for 1998 and saw the birth of ASTF.

The second symposium, as a whole, could be viewed as a continuation of the first, albeit with more elaboration on, and in-depth analysis of, the preconditions of an effective and efficient Arab contribution in the current revolution in science and technology.

By organizing this Symposium the ASTF aimed to investigate the situation of Arab science and the international trends in S&T in an attempt to identify research priorities and ways to translate them into action. A preliminary plan for collaborative Arab scientific projects was put forth with a view to attracting funding from the ASTF.

Four scientific areas, constituting the theme of Scientific Research Priorities, were identified as being the cornerstones of development and stepping stone for the expected Arab successes. These areas are:

  • Energy and Water 
  • Information and Communications Technology 
  • Biotechnology 
  • Materials Sciences

In short, the Symposium has channeled efforts in the direction of identifying scientific tracks for the Arab countries to adopt in the next stage of development, setting forth practical and practicable plans to achieve the desired scientific headway in the Arab region, and resolutely seeking to set going the development plans through the adoption of the selected scientific tracks. The Symposium was also a good opportunity for Arab scientists to show their support for the ASTF and their confidence in its ability to mobilize the Arab scientific community. The feelings of scientists for the ASTF significantly reflected a real desire to get out of the ’bottleneck’ of scientific backwardness that is currently prevailing in the Arab world.

SRO II Objectives:

Considering the Arab reality, scientific research and technological development should play a more positive role in the sustainable development of the Arab countries by drawing on the vast resources of expatriate Arab scientists and their willingness to get involved in scientific cooperation projects in their homelands.

After the first symposium had reviewed the current S&T situation in the Arab world and opted for a number of specialized scientific fields to be the center of interest for the Arab researchers, the second set out to achieve the following objectives:

  • Contributing to the revision and updating of the Arab Strategy for Science and Technology to live up to the standards of contemporary science and technology.
  • Crystallizing the concept of the Arab scientific community and monitoring its self-awareness, maturity, social impact, limitations, and ways of activating it.
  • Setting realistic objectives for a number of research projects in the selected tracks with the participation of specialists from inside and outside the Arab world within the framework of serious and fruitful scientific partnerships.
  • Identifying the research capabilities of universities and research institutions in the Arab countries and shedding light on them in preparation for forming the specialized Arab scientific networks and setting up distinguished Arab virtual research centers concerned with scientific areas within the selected tracks.

SRO IV Focal Points of the conference

First Scope: Harvesting the outcomes Science& Technology (S&T) performance of Arab countries to serve the sustainable development of the Arab countries:

  • Facilities and tools in utilizing scientific innovation for the benefit of the population. 
  • Performance in science, and development in social and economic aspects. 
  • Reasons behind the failure in delivering outcomes from scientific performance in Arab countries, as compared to other countries. 
  • Arab achievements in S&T. 
  • Indicators of progress in S&T.

Second Scope: Arab science community and the economics of scientific research:

1-The role of scientific and virtual networks in research and development. 

  • Pan Arab cooperation in research and development. 
  • Arab-international cooperation in research and development. The role of integrated research and technology in social and economic development in the Arab World. 
  • Leveraging the expertise of Arab scientists abroad to change the "Brain Drain" into "Brain Gain" for the sake of accelerating the process of development in the Arab world. 
  • Women and their role as active members of the Arab science community. 
  • Arab media and their role in creating channels of communication between the science community and other sectors of the society.

2- The economics of scientific research

  • Economic returns on Research & Development (R&D). 
  • New approaches for investing in technology (e.g., licensing technology). 
  • Universities and commercializing the outcomes of Arab research. 
  • Techno-entrepreneurship and its role in sustainable development. 
  • Obstacles facing transfer and ownership of technology; and the gap between investors and producers of technology.

Third Scope: Priorities of scientific research in the Arab World, and specialized domains in science:

1-Priorities of scientific research in the Arab World:

  • Collaborative Research projects conducted by Arab research groups: policies, experience, and obstacles facing its widespread practice. 
  • Programs supporting scientific research in the Arab World: funds and systems. Virtual research centers: a step towards increased Arab research interaction.

2-The scientific areas of priority:

  • Energy and Water 
  • Information and Communication Technology 
  • Biotechnologies 
  • New Materials

3-Specialized scientific fields: 

  • Medicine 
  • Engineering 
  • Agriculture Basic Sciences

SRO IV Objectives

The conference aims to:

  • Enhance the role of scientific research and technology development to bridge the digital divide, one of the main hurdles facing sustainable development in the Arab world. 
  • Assess the performance of the Arab scientific community, and diagnose its weaknesses with the aim of finding solutions to bring about an upheaval in performance. 
  • Encourage investing in Science &Technology (S&T), and creating links between the sectors of investors and of scientific research in the Arab world. 
  • Harness specialized scientific performance of Arab scientists and researchers in those areas defined as top priority for research in the Arab world; and identify those outstanding experiences for their further development to draw scientific and practical benefits thereof.