The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of China is an ambitious effort to improve regional cooperation; and connectivity is the core determinant to this entire initiative. The BRI aims to make massive investments in land and sea links with global trading partners. The BRI also commits to foster the industrial development along the Belt & Road with strong technical cooperation in fields of artificial intelligence, big data, nanotechnology, quantum computing, and smart cities etc. This requires a robust commitment to support science and engineering, including the capacity building and human resource development. In order to maximize the benefits of BRI, the participating countries including the ECO Member Countries need to establish and engage in an alliance for promotion of cross-border cooperation in the STI sectors.
The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) region; which includes Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, being important part of BRI, holds great potential and significance as an important gateway to connect China with the Middle East, South West Asia and Europe and beyond as three of China supported Economic Corridors (China Pakistan Economic Corridor, China-Tajikistan & westwards and China-Kazakhstan-Russia-Europe) are in the ECO countries.
Under the umbrella of Belt and Road (B&R) – Education, Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation (BRESTIC), ECOSF is bringing its Member States on board under BRI programs of China and helping them to benefit from the expertise and capacity of Chinese STI institutions, for infrastructure and industrial development in the ECO region. The ECO region has a great potential to be harnessed by developing effective collaborative linkages with China to promote scientific & technological research and cultural integration among the 10 member states of ECOSF.
Under the BRESTIC, ECOSF as coordinating agency is collaborating with its international partners; Children Youth Science Center (CYSC), China Association for Science and Technology (CAST), InterAcademy Partnerhip on Science Education Program (IAP SEP), Academy of Engineering & Technology of the Developing World and Sugon Ruiyi Technology to execute a number of programs as under:
ECOSF strategic partnership in the form BRISTEC is vital to promote regional integration along the ancient Silk Route. As a result of this collaboration, Belt and Road International Science Education Coordinating Committee (BRISECC) was constituted to promote coordinated efforts on International Science Education through extensive cooperation and collaboration amongst the B&R countries. The President ECOSF serves as the founder Vice President of BRISECC based in Beijing since its inaugural on November 16, 2019.