Merck Unites With UNESCO to Build Research Capacity in Africa
GENEVA, Oct 19, 2015 /PRNewswire=KYODO JBN/ --
- UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit aims to define interventions to
prepare for the road ahead in Africa's development as an international hub for
research excellence and scientific innovation
- Summit will put specific emphasis on how to translate knowledge into
action to improve health
- Summit to be conducted on a yearly basis to ensure significant
sustainable impact; 2015 edition will be dedicated to emergent infectious
Merck, a leading science and technology company, today launches in
partnership with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization (UNESCO) the first edition of the UNESCO-Merck Africa Research
Summit, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland. The summit aims to address the vital
role of scientific research in the improvement and sustainable development of
the African population health, with specific emphasis on how to translate
knowledge into action.
"Merck is very pleased to join forces with UNESCO and take together an
active role in addressing health challenges and strengthening the role of
scientific research in life sciences and medical sciences for Africa," said
Stefan Oschmann, Vice Chairman of the Executive Board and Deputy CEO of Merck,
at the inauguration of the UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit. "The summit
will bring together researchers from across Africa to discuss the generation,
sharing and dissemination of research data with the aim of identifying
development opportunities that will contribute to building research capacity,
access to innovative health solutions and sustaining innovation in Africa."
"The UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit was initiated to address in parts
the vital role of research in the improvement and sustainable development of
population health with specific emphasis on how to translate knowledge into
action - the 'know-do gap' - to improve health," emphasized Flavia Schlegel,
Assistant Director-General of Natural Sciences, UNESCO. "Moreover, the summit
will provide a platform for dialogue on improving global cooperation on life
science and health research and narrowing the disparities in health systems
performance between developing and developed countries."
Uganda Minister of State of Health, Sarah Opendi emphasized at the summit
"New Health Challenges are expected in the future and therefore this noble
initiative by UNESCO and Merck will significantly contribute towards enhancing
policy environment, support and build capacity of researchers in low and middle
The summit will be conducted on a yearly basis to ensure significant
sustainable impact on access to high-quality and innovative healthcare
solutions, building research capacity and sustaining innovation across Africa.
The 2015 UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit will focus on the role of
building capacities in the life sciences to address challenges of infectious
diseases, most notably the Ebola crises.
Scientifically supported by UNESCO, the University of Cambridge (UK), and
the University of Rome (Italy), the summit will be a valuable opportunity for
young researchers who are engaged and interested in health and life science
research in Africa to learn about the full spectrum of ground-breaking
scientific research currently underway, and prepare for the road ahead in
Africa's development as an international hub for research excellence and
scientific innovation. Abstracts were invited from final year African PhD
students and young investigators involved in HIV, Ebola and other infectious
diseases research. All are primarily based at African research institutes and
universities. All abstracts were peer reviewed by scientific committee and will
be eligible for fellowship award in Merck R&D hub and further number of
research awards which will be announced at the end of the summit.
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Merck is a leading science and technology company in healthcare, life
science and performance materials. Around 40,000 employees work to further
develop technologies that improve and enhance life - from biopharmaceutical
therapies to treat cancer or multiple sclerosis, cutting-edge systems for
scientific research and production, to liquid crystals for smartphones and LCD
televisions. In 2014, Merck generated sales of EUR 11.3 billion in 66 countries.
Founded in 1668, Merck is the world's oldest pharmaceutical and chemical
company. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed
corporate group. Merck, Darmstadt, Germany holds the global rights to the Merck
name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the
company operates as EMD Serono, EMD Millipore and EMD Performance Materials.