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International Organization for Chemical Sciences in Development

What We Do

Partnerships and Collaborations

To strengthen its reach and its capacities to deliver on its objectives, IOCD engages in strategic collaborations and partnerships with other organizations. Current examples, described below, include:

African Academy of Sciences (AAS)

OCD 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 elsewhere.


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 doing so.

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)

IOCD has collaborated for many years with IUPAC, including in the establishment of IOCD's former Working Group in Environmental Analytical Chemistry and support for the former Global Microscience Project.

Reports of IOCD's activities have been appeared periodically in IUPAC's journal Chemistry International. These have included:

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.


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.


Organisation Internationale des Sciences Chimiques pour le Développement
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