As the wider world watches the social and political shifts in the wake of the Arab Spring, the scientific community is looking to the rapid developments in the science, technology and innovation sectors in the Islamic countries of the Middle East and beyond. Countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar are pouring natural resource wealth into universities and technology parks. But it is not just hydrocarbon-rich countries that are striving to make the move towards knowledge-based economies. Pakistan established over 50 new universities between 2002 and 2008. In Egypt, the new Library of Alexandria is an example of a world-class teaching and research institution that has developed independently of the university system.
The Atlas of Islamic World Science and Innovation Project is being coordinated by a unique collection of international partners and is examining the past and future of the STI systems of Islamic countries. This is a time of rapid development in modern science and one that presents many opportunities to establish new and fruitful international collaborations for Europe and the rest of the world.
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