Iran, Venezuela discuss ways to expand scientific co-op

July 18, 2022 - 18:50

TEHRAN – Iran’s Minister of Science, Research, and Technology Mohammad-Ali Zolfigol in a meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Gabriela Jimenez discussed fields of scientific cooperation.

During a phone conversation, Jimenez suggested that an exhibition of Iran's scientific capabilities be held in Venezuela so that the universities and researchers get to know more about Iran's scientific and technological capacity.

She further expressed interest in using Iran's scientific capabilities in the fields of health, energy, pharmaceuticals, food, veterinary medicine, telecommunications, and petrochemicals, and in this regard, the presence of Iranian knowledge-based companies in Venezuela will be provided.

Venezuela is interested in using Iran's experience in the fields of health, pharmaceuticals, food, and veterinary medicine. Referring to her visits to Iranian universities, she added that there is a high scientific and research capacity in Iran, and accordingly, we welcome the development of joint scientific relations.

Zolfigol also suggested making a list of ideas and needs of Venezuela and providing it to the scientists of both countries so that Iranian scientists can also come to the aid of that country.

Researchers and scientists from both sides can institutionalize scientific interaction with their visits, he said, adding, "We strongly believe in scientific diplomacy in the whole world."

Although Iran's population is one percent of the world's population, our share of the world's science production is more than two percent, he highlighted.

Referring to the U.S. sanctions as a barrier to scientific development, he stated that sanctions can be turned into opportunities, and Venezuela can use the created conditions to turn sanctions into opportunities while maintaining its independence.

More than 80,000 academic staff members are engaged in teaching and research in the Iranian universities, and our researchers have technological activities in 49 science and technology parks, and the publication of more than 76,000 articles in prestigious journals last year is a sign of Iran's scientific capabilities, he noted.

Science diplomacy at highest level

Data from the Scopus International Citation Database show that Iran’s scientific diplomacy has reached more than 34 percent since the beginning of 2021, the highest level in the past 20 years.

Science diplomacy is the use of scientific collaborations among nations to address common problems and build constructive international partnerships. It is a form of new diplomacy and has become an umbrella term to describe a number of formal or informal technical, research-based, academic, or engineering exchanges, within the general field of international relations.

Comparing the rate of 2020 with 2019, Iran with a growth of 12.5 percent and with a slight difference from India has gained second place in the world in terms of the growth of world science diplomacy, Mohammad Javad Dehghani, head of the Islamic World Science Citation Center (ISC), said.

In 2011, the share of Iranian articles with international participation was about 16.5 percent, which increased to 19.7 percent in 2016 and gradually in the following years, so that in 2020 and 2021, reached 30.5 and 34.2 percent, respectively, he added.

The share of Iranian articles with international participation has had significant growth of 209 percent during an eight-year period (2013-2020), becoming the Islamic world’s leading country in science diplomacy, according to the Scopus International Citation Database.

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