African Academy of Sciences (AAS)
IOCD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AAS during a meeting in Namur on 16 August 2012. The
MOU provides a framework within which the two organizations will seek ways to collaborate and add
value to what each is doing. The aim is to reinforce the impact of each organization's work and
ensure that science and technology make their full contribution to development in Africa and
Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, President of IOCD (right), and Professor Berhanu Abegaz, Executive
Director of AAS, at the signing of the MOU at a meeting in Namur on 16 August 2012.
Based in Kenya, AAS was created in 1985. One of its primary functions is to honour African science
and technology achievers in Africa. It also acts as a development-oriented mobilizer of the entire
African science and technology community to facilitate the development of scientific and
technological capacity for science-led development in Africa, promoting excellence and relevance in
As part of its collaboration with the AAS, IOCD assisted in a project to produce copies of the
Ishango Bone for display as a symbol of early science in Africa. The Ishango Bone, discovered in
1957 dates from about 22,000 years ago in what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo, is carved
with markings that many experts consider to have mathematical significance. It is one of the oldest
surviving examples of the practice of arithmetic in the world. IOCD worked closely with a number of
partners in the project, including the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), Nairobi, the International
Institute of Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, UNESCO,
University of Namur, Vitro Laser Solutions UG and Prof. Malik Maaza, University of South Africa.
Manufactured by Vitra Laser Solutions UG in Germany, a 2D image of the Ishango Bone etched in a
glass plate and illuminated by LEDs in the plate's edge was presented to the AAS in a ceremony in
Nairobi on 10 September 2015 to launch the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in
Africa. IOCD's Executive Director Prof. Alain Krief participated in the event.
Foerderverein Uni Kinshasa (fUNIKIN)
IOCD's governing body agreed in October 2012 to establish a partnership with fUNIKIN, the initiative
of Prof. Gerhard Bringmann (University of Würzburg, Germany) to promote excellence in education
in DR Congo and to provide PhD fellowships there. IOCD is now a member of fUNIKIN's ‘Directory
Panel’ and fUNIKIN is now a Partner of IOCD.
International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)
Reports of IOCD's activities have been appeared periodically in IUPAC's journal Chemistry
International. These have included:
- an article providing a perspective on IOCD's three decades of achievements and its current
activities and strategiese, written by Professor Stephen Matlin, Head of IOCD's Strategic
S.A. Matlin. IOCD: Chemical sciences in development. Chemistry International, 2013,
- an article on chemistry education based on a workshop organized by IOCD in Namur in 2014:
S.A. Matlin. Scoping the Future of Education in Chemistry. Chemistry International,
2014, 36(4) 28-30. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ci.2014.36.4.28.
- an article on the roles of international chemistry organizations and the changes needed to
make them more effective in serving the interests of the chemical sciences in the
S.A. Matlin, A. Krief, H. Hopf, G. Mehta. Chemistry
organizations in a changing world. Chemistry International 2017, 39(1),
In 2017, IOCD initiated collaboration with IUPAC to support and conduct a project on the
incorporation of systems thinking into general chemistry education.
Namur Research College (NARC)
IOCD has collaborated with the Namur Research College to mount a prestigious series of international
symposia in Namur presenting the latest advances in research in the chemical sciences. Inaugurated
in 2012, the series has featured Nobel Laureates and other leading scientists at the cutting edge of
new fields of research.
- 1st NARC-IOCD Symposium, held 5 July 2012 and entitled Chemical
Development: Chemistry, a Crossway Towards Interdisciplinary Science, featured a lecture
by the chemistry Nobel Laureate Prof. Ryoji Noyori (Saitama, Japan) on “Science
and Technology for Future Generations”.
- 2nd NARC-IOCD Symposium, held 20 November 2012 on Materials
Science, marked the occasion of a visit to Namur by two leading scientists, both
directors of materials research centres at the Institute National de la Recherche Scientifique
(INRS), Montreal. Prof. Federico Rosei's seminar was on “Strategies for
controlled assembly at the nanoscale”, while that by Prof. Mohamed Chaker was
entitled “The Infrastructure of nanostructures and femtoscience”.
- 3rd NARC-IOCD Symposium, held 15 January 2014, was entitled Research and
Education in Natural Sciences. Presenters included Prof. Mei-Hung Chiu (National
Taiwan Normal University) on “Augmented reality for science learning”,
Prof. Henning Hopf (Technische Universität Braunschweig, Germany) on
“Linear polyolefins - an old topic of organic chemistry in new light”,
Prof. Goverdhan Mehta (Hyderabad University, India) on “Enhancing nature and
chemical space - synergy between natural products and organic synthesis for human
well-being” and Prof. Gary Molander (University of Pennsylvania, USA) on
“A novel mechanistic paradigm for cross-coupling”.
- 4th NARC- IOCD Symposium was held 3-4 June, 2014 and entitled Chemistry,
a Crossway Toward Interdisciplinary Science: A Symposium for the Dissemination of Chemical
Development. Presenters included Prof. Takuzo Aida (University of Tokyo, Japan)
on “Molecular design of soft materials for advanced functions”, Dr. Stuart
Cantrill (Nature Publishing Group, United Kingdom) on “The nature of chemistry
publishing”, Prof. Odile Eisentein (University of Montpellier, France) on
“Experimental and computational chemistry: an ideal partnership”, Prof.
Stefan Hecht (Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany) on “Designing functional
molecular nanostructures”, Prof. Henri Kagan (University of Paris-Sud, France)
on “Some aspects of asymmetric amplification in chemical systems”, Prof.
Ilan Marek (Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Israel), on “Merging allylic
C-H and Selective C-C bond activation towards the formation of all-carbon quaternary
stereocenters”, Prof. Luis Marzan (Ikerbasque at CIC biomaGUNE, Spain) on
“Understanding synthesis and assembly of metal nanoparticles”, Prof.
Stefan Matile (University of Geneva, Switzerland) on “Supramolecular systems at
work”, Prof. Jaume Veciana ((Institut de Ciència de Materials de
Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain) on “Organizing and processing functional supramolecular
materials. Nanostructured materials with magnetic and electronic properties and their
applications” and Nobel Laureate Prof. Ada Yonath (Weizman Institute, Israel)
on “A prebiotic chemical bonding entity”.
- 5th NARC-IOCD Symposium, was held on 26 November 2014 with the title
Meeting for the dissemination of chemical knowledge on the occasion of the German Year
and with the support of the University of Namur, the Belgian National Fund for Scientific
Research, the German Embassy in Belgium and the Belgian Division of the Tokyo Chemical
Industry-Europe. The programme include a lecture by IOCD's President, the chemistry Nobel
Laureate Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn, on “Perspectives in chemistry: from supramolecular
chemistry towards adaptive chemistry”. There were also lectures by several chemists
from Germany, including Prof. Burkhard König (Regensburg University) on
“Chemical photocatalysis using visible light”, Prof. Ryan Gilmour
(Münster University) on “Deconstructing organocatalytic reactions”,
Prof. Carsten Bolm (RWTH-Aachen University) on “How much catalyst do we
need?”, Dr. Peter Gölitz and Dr. Eva Wille (Wiley-VCH, Wheinheim)
on “Some secrets of scientific publishing: Angewandte Chemie and the Chem. Pub. Europe
journals as an example”, Prof. Oliver Reiser (Regensburg University) on
“Mag(net)ic molecules - synthesis and applications for sustainable
chemistry”, and Prof. Fransziska Schoenebeck, (RWTH-Aachen University) on
“Understanding and design of organometallic reactivity with experimental and
IOCD was founded under the auspices of UNESCO at a meeting in UNESCO headquarters in Paris in 1981
and subsequently became an international NGO registered in Belgium. There have been collaborations
across a range of projects and programmes since that time, including in chemical education, natural
products chemistry and microscale science.
IOCD is delighted that in 2015 an official partnership (consultative status) was established with
UNESCO. In announcing this new formal relationship in June 2015, UNESCO Director-General Irina
Bokova noted the clear relevance of IOCD's work to the current programmes and activities of
UNESCO, built on a solid foundation based on many areas of common interest and synergies and
previous collaborations, as witnessed by the close cooperation between both organizations during the
2011 International Year of Chemistry. The announcement was warmly welcomed by IOCD's President
Jean-Marie Lehn and Executive Director Alain Krief, who expressed their hope that this
will lead to further cooperation that strengthens the impact of IOCD's work.