Research is an integral part of the AIMS model. Each AIMS Centre will comprise of a Research Centre with its own areas of scientific and technical specialty. To ensure relevance to local needs, capabilities and opportunities, Centres will develop their areas of specialization in collaboration with local governments and universities. Research Centres will welcome multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research opportunities through both local and international partnerships. The research Centre at AIMS-South Africa opened in 2008. Research activities at AIMS-Senegal started in 2013. Two junior researchers, jointly appointed between AIMS-Ghana and AIMS-South Africa, are expected to begin research activities in these Centres before the end of 2014.
The main features of an AIMS Research Centre are:
- Focus on research topics of high relevance to Africa’s development, especially in areas where African scientists are well positioned to become world-leaders.
- Close involvement with local universities and other research institutions thus widening the pool of available expertise and serving to strengthen long-term research programmes in the local academic community.
- Collaboration with institutions all over Africa to stimulate pan-African research networks and partnerships.
- Involvement of leading international researchers and institutions.
- Collaboration with industry as appropriate, e.g. by running programmes in response to particular industrial needs, by assisting in capacity building and by conducting innovative projects.
- A dynamic research environment, where visiting and staff scientists thrive, and where young scientists can find exciting opportunities and learn to become critical thinkers.
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