Imperial has recently launched a wide-ranging new seed fund for research and education projects in collaboration with partners from Africa. The African partners are the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and members of the African Research Universities Alliance (ARUA), spanning across ten countries which are Cameroun, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. The Africa Strategic Research and Education Partnerships Fund is also focused at kick-starting new innovative research and education projects among academics, researchers, and students at Imperial College, AIMS and ARUA member universities.
It has also been stated that the new fund will strengthen links, increasing the statistic of collaborations between academics from Imperial and African scientists. Scientists will receive support from the research funding stream with small-scale experiments, exploratory research, and development of prototypes. Likewise, it will aid the visitation of academics and students to a partner institute for as long as two months to enable them learn new techniques, analyze results, and build stronger networks.
AIMS and ARUA train African scientists and solve African problems.
AIMS, a pan-African network of Centers of Excellence for post-graduate training, research and public engagement in mathematical sciences, was established by Imperial Alumnus, Prof. Neil Turok (PhD Physics, 1986). The institute currently has five centers across Sub-Saharan Africa, and has partnered with Imperial in 2020 to enhance the training of the next generation of African scientists. It also aims at amending the perception of the global community concerning Africa, highlighting the wealth opportunities that are available in the continent.
ARUA, on its own, was founded in 2015 as an alliance of 16 high rank research-intensive universities across Sub Saharan. It is focused on developing local research excellence with collaborations that provide solutions to the development of the problems of Africa. Also, through its member institutions, the alliance operates 13 interdisciplinary Centers of Excellence in major thematic areas. Similarly, imperial researchers are currently in collaboration with partners to pay more attention to shared global challenges.
The funding opportunities will build The African University.
In addition, the development of innovative, inclusive and impactful online experiential learning opportunities for the future will receive its support from the education funding stream. The support could be in form of online delivery of practical laboratories, enabling student entrepreneurship, and virtual field trips. The two partnering agents, AIMS and ARUA, will ensure that students and academics are able to develop scintillating research ideas and new innovations in education that will benefit the society greatly.
The Chief Scientific Officer at AIMS Global Network, Professor Wilfred Ndifon, expressed his excitement towards the academic and research opportunities that would be provided by the Seed Fund to students, academic staff, and researchers. This funding will also likely aid huge collaborations , new knowledge, and new innovations. The Secretary-General for ARUA, Ernest Aryeetey, in a statement, excitedly acknowledged the importance of partnerships and networking for leveraging the resources of universities, for greater impact. The opportunities are, however, needed to build The African University.
Project on the management of air pollution in African cities.
Currently, academics from Imperial, AIMS and ARUA are jointly working on a project that enables the measurement and management of air pollution in African cities. Professor Majid Ezzati and Dr. Daniela Fecht, at Imperial, together with colleagues, are working to give reliable timely information regarding air pollution in cities in Sub-Saharan Africa where there is an existence of lack of data and lack of implementation of traditional monitoring technologies. The major aim of the network is to develop an integrated digital urban air pollution monitoring system in order to inform evidence-based policies and social programs to enable the reduction of air pollution.