As of 1998, EPFL and SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) set up a scientific cooperation fund enabling to finance research development projects.
All disciplines present at the EPFL were invited to participate, with the primary goal of promoting interdisciplinary research focusing on solutions to the most critical problems facing emerging and developing countries.
With this objective in mind, the projects were to be undertaken in partnership with an institution of the South and guided by a vision of sustainable development fostering technological innovation, preservation of the environment, social equity and economic efficiency. The research teams had also to be attentive to the practical implementation potential of research results.
The call was a resounding success. The numerous project proposals received from among all EPFL faculties demonstrated – if this were still necessary- the degree of commitment of the School’s scientific community to development related issues.
The different phases of the EPFL-DDC Fund
The success of the first phase brought EPFL and SDC to repeat this call 2 more times.
|Phase I :||1998-2001||4 projects selected|
|Phase II :||2004-2007||5 projects selected|
|Phase III :||2009-2012||5 projects selected|
To ensure coherence, project proposals had to comply with the eleven principles of scientific partnership with developing countries, as defined by KFPE (Commission for Research Partnership with Developing Countries), and provide for the three basic dimensions of scientific development cooperation:
- scientific excellence promoting international partnerships and competence building in emerging and developing countries;
- a strategy of knowledge transfer via articles and other publications, participation in international encounters and the integration of results in teaching and training;
- in the longer term, valorization of the scientific work by training of young researchers from the South and the North, and by encouraging the implementation of applications in the countries concerned.