Research is an integral part of the AIMS-NEI programme. Each AIMS centre will host a research centre with its own areas of scientific and technical specialty, identified in collaboration with the host government and universities, to ensure relevance to local needs, capabilities and opportunities. Research activities at each AIMS centre will increase as centres embrace new multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research areas of specialization through joint local and international partnerships. AIMS-South Africa opened its research centre in 2008 while research activities commenced at AIMS-Senegal in 2013. The appointment of two joint research Chairs will see to the initiation of research activities at AIMS-Ghana before the end of 2014.
The main features of an AIMS research centre are:
- A strong focus on cutting-edge topics which are most relevant to African development, especially in fields where scientists in Africa have a competitive advantage and can do world-leading research.
- Close involvement with local universities and other research institutions thus widening the pool of available expertise and serving to initiate long-term research programmes in the local academic community.
- Collaboration with institutions all over Africa to ensure strong pan-African participation in all the research centre's programmes, stimulating the growth of pan-African research networks and partnerships.
- Participation of top international researchers and institutions keen to work with African academics and students on cutting edge projects.
- Close ties with industry by running programmes associated with particular industrial needs, assisting in capacity building and collaboration on innovative projects.
- The careful selection of cost-effective, high impact, interdisciplinary research programmes in which a small fast-moving centre can break new ground more effectively than is possible in larger, less flexible institutions.
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