Four Covid-19 related projects designed by four Moroccan universities have been selected by l’Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF) to receive grants from the agency’s €1 million fund for COVID-19 research, AUF said in a press release issued this Friday.
The Moroccan projects are among 92 projects from 87 member institutions in 44 countries that will receive financing from the agency.
The AUF, part of its COVID-19 special action plan, launched, from April 10 to May 5, an international call for projects and initiatives by students, student-engineers and young researchers, within AUF member higher education institutions.
The agency had set up an exceptional fund, initially worth €500,000, to encourage projects tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and suggesting solutions to its challenges. However, given the great success of the call and the quality of the nearly 2,000 projects received from 79 countries, the AUF doubled its grant to reach one million Euros.
The final list of projects to benefit from the fund includes 92 applications from 87 institutions in 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 technological or social impact to help health systems and populations face this unprecedented health crisis.
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.
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.