Research projects on topics including the environment, renewable resources, renewable energies, potable water protection and sewage technologies as well as nutrition, agriculture and biotechnology are key areas of the research cooperation between research institutions of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Republic of Tunisia.
In addition, there is a close cooperation between TU Munich and the University of Tunis El Manar in the “Renewable Resources” research area. In the autumn of 2010, the TU Berlin will continue its cooperation with Tunisian partners and organise an international seminar on “Drinking Water Development and Conservation and Wastewater Purification” from 14-18 October 2010 in Sfax and Hammamet, Tunisia, in which students and alumni of the technical University of Berlin will also take part.
The Geesthacht research centre (GKSS) maintains cooperations with the Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie, Tunis-Mahrajène, the Institut National Des Sciences Et Technologies De La Mer, Salammbo, and the Institut Pasteur De Tunis, Tunis.
A key area of the “EnerMENA” project of the German Aerospace Centre is the transfer of expertise on solar thermal power plant technology to research institutions, universities, industrial companies, specialists, engineering companies and energy suppliers in, among other countries, Tunisia. Among its most important aims is to improve networking between all stakeholders involved in constructing solar thermal power plants.
Since the 4th Framework Programme of the EU, Tunisian research institutions have participated in over 280 research projects. Key subject areas of these projects, which were also carried out in collaboration with German institutions, were: environment, nutrition, agriculture, biotechnology and healthcare.
1. Research policy
Promoting science and research is at the heart of Tunisia’s policy for economic development. At 1.25%, public spending on research is higher relative to GDP than the average of 0.3% in other Arabic countries, and has increased by 300% in the period from 2000 to 2007. Research and development spending by companies is limited overall and concentrated on a small number of large-scale companies in the fields of electronics, chemistry and nutrition. According to UNESCO, education spending relative to GDP is 7.2%, while the gross tertiary enrolment rate is 34% – peak values for the North African and Middle Eastern region.
The main emphasis in the areas of education and research is put on:
Research (among others):
There are two main research funding programmes:
In addition to the Presidential Programme, a frame of reference is provided by a national development plan for the period from 2007 to 2016 by the Ministry for Development and International Cooperation:
2. Higher education institutions/research centres
In all, approximately 5,625 researchers (full-time) are employed at 33 research centres which comprise approximately 139 laboratories and 643 research departments. These research centres have excellent capacities and are second only to Qatar in the Arabic world (Arab Knowledge Report, 2009). There are 193 higher education and research institutions, of which 24 are Higher Institutes of Technological Studies. The majority of these institutions (163) fall under the remit of the Ministry of Research.
Tunisia has 13 universities with 350,882 students (just under 60% of them female). The most important universities are:
The publication output of Tunisian scientists is remarkable. According to the “Arab Knowledge Report” (2009), they are in third place in the Arabic world after Egypt and Saudi Arabia. French researchers are by far their most important publication partners; only just under 5% of Tunisian international publications are produced in cooperation with German scientists. Bibliometric analyses show strengths in the following publication areas: material sciences, mathematics, microbiology, genetics, neurosciences and clinical medicine.
||Key research areas||Website|
| National Institute of Applied Science and Technology
|Biotechnology, chemistry, energy and transport, computer science, communication technologies, engineering sciences||http://www.insat.rnu.tn/|
Institut Supérieur des Etudes Technologiques (ISET)
Ecole Polytechnique de Tunisie
|Economics, econometrics, IKT, mathematics||http://www.ept.rnu.tn/|
|Université du 7 novembre à Carthage||Law, political science, economics and social science, architecture, urban planning, computer science, engineering science, business administration, languages||
| École Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et
Commerciales de Tunis (Université de Tunis – ESSECT)
|International trade, economics||http://www.essect.rnu.tn/|
École Nationale des Ingenieurs de Sfax (Université de
Sfax – ENIS)
|Natural resources and the environment, material sciences, mechanical engineering||http://www.enis.rnu.tn/|
Université de Sfax
Engineering science, economics, healthcare management, medical engineering, law, natural sciences, biotechnology, administration, art, IKT, musicology
|Université de Sousse||
Medical research, law, economics, political science, art, social sciences