Merck, UNESCO and Cambridge University join hands to build Research Capacity in Africa with the aim to fight against Ebola

unesco maerskUNESCO- Merck Africa Research Summit – MARS 2015 aims to prepare for the road ahead in Africa’s development as an international hub for research excellence and scientific innovation.

Merck (http://www.merckgroup.com), the world’s oldest pharmaceutical and Chemical company in partnership with UNESCO , Cambridge University and University of Rome plan to conduct UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit – MARS which will be held on the 19th and 20th of October in Switzerland. www.mars2015summit.org.

The UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit- MARS aims to bring together researchers from across Africa to discuss the generation, sharing and dissemination of research data and to prepare for the road ahead in Africa’s development as an international hub for research excellence and scientific innovation.

UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit – MARS 2015 will have scientific support from UNESCO (United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organization), the University of Cambridge, UK, and University of Rome, Italy.

African researchers specialized in HIV and Ebola are encouraged to apply and submit abstracts about their latest research with regards to HIV and Ebola to be eligible to sponsorship to attend the summit and to win on e of the Summit- MARS awards.

The annual Summit aims to contribute to building research capacity in the African research community, with special focus on Ebola and emergent infectious diseases. The Summit will also showcase innovative research taking place in projects, programs and initiatives across African universities, and by the wider African research community. It also aims to Identify Scientific Research Priorities for Evolving Health Needs, and identify opportunities to capitalise on HIV Research Capacities for Emerging Infectious Diseases in Africa such as Ebola.

The annual Summit – UNESCO-MARS will address the vital role of research in the improvement and sustainable development of population health with specific emphasis on how to translate knowledge into action – the ‘know-do gap’ – to improve health and make an impact on society.

It will provide a networking platform for dialogue on improving global cooperation on health research and narrowing the disparities in health systems performance between developing and developed countries. It will create an African researchers’ network where there will be exchange of experience, knowledge, best practice (especially in Ebola management) and cooperation in future research and development projects.

In 2015, the inaugural Summit will have a special focus on HIV and Ebola, highlighting how experience gained from investigating the former could inform and drive the rapid understanding of the latter in the recent crisis in West Africa.

Diverse sets of speakers from Academia, Research institutes, major funding organizations of health/medical research, Chairs of Medical Research Councils, NGOs, Industry, established and emergent researchers, policy makers, ministries of health and editors of scientific / medical journals, etc., will be participating.

• Speeches, keynote lectures and panel discussion about latest research in the areas of focus to exchange experience and share information.

• Scientific tour around Merck Biotechnology R&D and Manufacturing site.

• Workshops will cater for debates that stimulate young Researchers and Innovators to resolve health issues.

• Central gallery will provide dedicated space to display, demonstrate and discuss participants’ research (Posters and abstracts) followed by posters sessions

Up to 100 scientists / researchers will be fully sponsored to attend the Summit and benefit from the scientific program and development opportunities that will accelerate access to innovative health solutions and sustain innovation in Africa.

Their selection will be based on their abstract submission with dead line 30th of July.

Abstracts are invited from final year African PhD students and young investigators involved in HIV, Ebola and other infectious disease research. All should be primarily based at African research institutes and Universities, although collaboration within Africa as well as outside is encouraged.

All abstracts will be peer reviewed and will be eligible for sponsorship and first three winners will be eligible for further number of research awards and fellowship in Merck R&D hub.