AsianScientist (Apr. 15, 2013) – By Mićo Tatalović – The five BRICS countries agreed to set up a development bank at a recent forum attended by science ministers in Durban, South Africa, last month (March 26-27).
According to media reports, the bank is expected to start with US$50 billion in total – US$10 billion from each BRICS country: Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – and will fund development and infrastructure projects in developing countries.
For example, it may support initiatives related to sustainable development and climate change, such as green technology projects, biofuels, dams and nuclear power plants in Africa, according to Hannah Edinger, head of research and strategy at emerging-markets consultancy Frontier Advisory, who was speaking to the IPS news agency.
As part of the main forum’s ‘Summit Declaration and Action Plan‘ adopted at the meeting, the nations also agreed to organize a meeting of BRICS science and technology ministers and another meeting of BRICS senior officials on science and technology.
The nations have also established a BRICS Think Tanks Council to assist with innovation and act as a “platform for the exchange of ideas among researchers, academia and think tanks.” It comprises of the Institute for Applied Economic Research, Brazil; the National Committee for BRICS Research, Russia; the Observer Research Foundation, India; the China Center for Contemporary World Studies; and the Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa.
The council will be responsible for convening the BRICS Academic Forum to provide policy recommendations and guidance for the BRICS leaders to consider.
This year’s Academic Forum, which met last month (March 11-12) ahead of the main forum in Durban, recommended that BRICS “should intensify its support for collaboration amongst academics and scholars through a variety of institutions, networks and programs that advances education, research and skills development.”
It also suggested creating an independent BRICS rating agency for educational institutions; a BRICS university; a data bank with key information on the five countries; and a digital platform with detailed information on researchers and institutions dealing with BRICS issues. Brazil offered to host the last two.
Source: Science and Development Network.
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