Exchange session in Rabat around the MERC program

“If we have gathered here today, it is first and foremost to enable the research ecosystem in Morocco to seize this opportunity and to meet the climate challenges common to the MENA region”, affirmed the director of the Center 4C Morocco, Rajae Chafil who spoke at the opening of this meeting.

Ms. Chafil mentioned, in this context, the missions and attributions of the 4C Morocco Center which “provides support for research and capacity building” through several actions, in particular the national masters specialized in climate change launched in collaboration with universities. Moroccan with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP.

She also underlined the importance that the 4C Morocco Center attaches to the “capacitation of African youth” and to the “capacity building” of teacher-researchers in a “training of trainers” logic.

For her part, the MERC program coordinator, Anne Dare, presented an overview of this program, particularly the different funding opportunities available, namely applied research grants, continuation grants, travel and workshop grants. , as well as a special climate call for proposals.

The topics generally supported under this program relate to water, agriculture, health, and the environment, explained Ms. Dare, inviting interested researchers and academics to submit their proposals no later than December 15, 2022 via the website https://www.grants.gov

Under this call for proposals, priority is given to research projects focused on mitigating climate change and adapting to its adverse impacts.

Proposals on any other applied research topic in the natural, physical, social and engineering sciences may be submitted and will be considered.

Regarding the evaluation criteria, Ms. Dare cited in particular the relevance of the projects for regional development, likely impact, technical merit and innovation, capacity building and management structure.

In a statement to MAP, Saloua Jemjami, professor at the Faculty of Science and Technology at Hassan I University in Settat and coordinator of the partnership program with the Center 4C Maroc, said she was happy to participate in this event which for the purpose of learning about the MERC program.

For her part, Asmae Lakhlifi, responsible for the budgetary and administrative management of R&D and innovation programs at the Institute for Research in Solar Energy and New Energies (IRESEN), expressed her joy at attending this meeting, getting to know the different supported projects and explore possible partnerships. This meeting served to introduce the MERC program, catalyze partnership opportunities to meet program requirements, allow potential candidates to exchange in one-on-one format with the program coordinator and strengthen the cooperation between the Moroccan, Israeli and American research sector.

The event was organized in partnership with USAID, within the framework of the Research, Expertise and Training College (CREF), which falls under the organizational scheme of 4C Morocco, for the benefit of Moroccan researchers and academics wishing to engage in research projects. relevant to climate change within the framework of Arab-Israeli cooperation.

This cooperation aims to make Morocco a “regional hub for innovation and the strengthening of technical or human skills” around climate change, said Sarah Diouri, director of R&D and innovation programs at IRESEN.

The Middle East Regional Cooperation (MERC) program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) funds research projects between Israel and Arab countries on development themes, to promote Arab-Israeli cooperation.

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