Nearly 2,000 projects from 79 countries applied to receive financing.
Rabat – The Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) has selected four projects from Moroccan universities to benefit from a €1 million fund for COVID-19 research, a press release issued on May 22 revealed.
Between April 10 and May 5, AUF launched an international call for projects by students and researchers from its higher education institutions. The projects had to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic and suggest solutions to its challenges.
The organization initially allocated a fund of €500,000. However, due to the success of the call—nearly 2,000 project applications from 79 countries—and the quality of the proposed projects, AUF decided to double its grant to €1 million.
The final list of projects to benefit from the fund includes 92 applications from 87 institutions and 44 countries. The Moroccan universities selected for the initiative are Abdelmalek Essaadi University in Tetouan, Chouaib Doukkali University in El Jadida, Hassan II University in Casablanca, and Mohammed V University in Rabat.
The Moroccan projects tackle different areas of research, including workshops for digital production, cloud computing technology, molecular modeling methods, and remote learning for higher education.
The main objective of AUF’s initiative is to support the response of universities to the COVID-19 pandemic and the development of solutions with immediate impact.
An expert committee attached to 10 regional directorates of AUF evaluated the applications. The selected projects include assistance programs for vulnerable populations, research projects on drugs, digital applications to study the pandemic, and protective equipment for frontline workers, AUF said in a statement.
“The international call of projects launched within the framework of our COVID-19 plan had an unprecedented success, and I welcome this broad mobilization of the French-speaking scientific community,” the AUF rector, Slim Khalbous, declared.
AUF is the French-speaking world’s leading university network, with 990 member institutions from 118 countries, spread over five continents. Created in 1970, AUF is involved in many fields such as training, research, university governance, entrepreneurship, student employability, and sustainable development.