Tuesday 15 November 2016
  • UK Government funded symposia to boost scientific ties between UK and Bahraini researchers to be organised by the British Council and the University of Bahrain 
  • The cross-cultural events will focus on the water, energy and food nexus
  • The Symposium form part of the UK Government’s broader strategic commitment to strengthen partnerships with research bodies and higher education institutions in the Gulf region through a new set of programmes called the Gulf Science Innovation and Knowledge Economy programmes (GSIKE)

The UK Government is working in partnership with the British Council to launch a series of science events, which allow researchers to come together and tackle some of the challenges both countries face. 

The Science Collaboration Symposium in Bahrain forms part of the UK Government’s broader strategic commitment to strengthen partnerships with research bodies and higher education institutions in Bahrain and the Gulf region through a new programme called the ‘Gulf Science Innovation and Knowledge Economy programme’.  Suzanne Jones, the programme director, noted that “International collaboration in scientific research plays a crucial role in promoting prosperity and sustainable growth in this region. Water, energy and food security are a particular concern in the Gulf, and we hope to see a number of long term research projects established in partnership between the UK and Gulf research institutions as a result of this Symposium.”

The Science Collaboration Symposium; which is on Water, Energy and Food, will be focussing on recent advances in desalination and water reuse technologies. It will draw in researchers at all career levels,  10 from the UK, 15 from Bahrain, and 20 from the other Gulf countries, and will take place at the University of Bahrain’s Sakhir Campus, on 23 to 24 November 2016. 

The Middle East is home to 70% of the world’s desalination plants, most of which are located in the Gulf. However, the more water they process, the less economically sustainable they become. The process is not only costly, it could also result in a situation known to researchers as ‘peak salt’ – the point at which, as a result of intensive desalination, this process becomes unfeasible. These workshops will bring researchers together to tackle key challenges like these, helping to accelerate new thinking in the region.

Prof Riyad Hamzah, the President of the University of Bahrain said that, “The British Council is a key partner of the university in developing our research in science.  We hope that this relationship will go from strength to strength as we look to develop solutions for the regional issues of water, food security and renewable energy, which are the signature research areas for the UOB. In addition the support offered through capacity building is key to developing our young researchers which we hope will go on to develop breakthrough solution”. 

Alan Rutt, Country Director Bahrain said that “A nation with a strong research base will not only benefit from the progress created by cutting-edge research, it will develop a new generation of researchers and attract talented thinkers from abroad, further strengthening its ability to drive innovation and economic development. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to connect UK and Bahraini researchers to help them boost scientific ties between the two countries and encourage innovation around the social and economic challenges that we both share. ”

About the British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. 

Our 7000 staff in over 100 countries work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.  

For more information, please visit: www.britishcouncil.bh/en