For These Reasons, Both Public And Private Sectors Should Prioritize The Support For R&D During A Post War Era In Syria?

2023-04-18 | Volume 1 Issue 1 - Volume 1 | Editorial | Chief Editor| Majd Aljamali

Over a decade of war, unprecedented drought, COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, and recent earthquake, all made Syria’s economy struggle to stabilize and grow, while many Syrians are exploring options to cope and maintain basic needs such as electricity, irrigation and clean water. Lessons from countries around the globe tell us a lot. In fact, the boost of R&D in countries like Germany and Japan was basically initiated right after cannons became silent. During WWII, the United States Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) greatly enriched public investments in applied R&D, where thousands of contracts between firms and universities were signed to perform research essential to the war and post-war efforts. The Islamic Republic of Iran is another interesting example. While the country is under intense sanctions, revenues from R&D activities in the past few years constituted a major share of the country’s GDP.

Opening ceremony for the Fourth Syrian Expatriate Researchers Conference (SERC), 2022.

Investing in R&D activities is a prerequisite to speed up recovery and economic growth.
Current indicators in Syria show that R&D spending constituted only 0.02% of the country’s GDP in 2015, compared to 0.72 average in the Arab countries, 0.88% in Iran, 1.1% in Russia, 1.09% in Turkey, and 2.63% world average.
We seriously need to enhance spending on R&D in Syria and establish the correct and operational enabling R&D ecosystem for the following reasons: 1) R&D is the important driver of economic growth in the third millennium; 2) R&D might lead to innovative solutions to non-traditional challenges Syria faces; 3) Many local experts and skilled personnel could be attracted to R&D activities, which might mitigate their continuous migration out of the country; 4) without sustained R&D activities, Syrian goods will certainly loose competitiveness in local and global markets; 5) Due to war, Syria has lost a major fraction of the countries natural resources. This is why a gradual transform into a knowledge-based economy, which usually heavily relies on R&D, is badly needed.
The bottom line, R&D is suitable to all times, all situations, and more essential and worthy in the time of war than in the time of rest and peace.

AlBasel Fair for Creativity & Invention 2019.

(ISSN - Online)


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