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CLOC DEAR MENA - Digital Education And Research for MENA

About the CLOC

The Cluster of Cooperation “Digital Education And Research for MENA” aims at contributing to a research and education network between Institutions of Higher Education in Switzerland and the MENA region.

Access to digital education and research is crucial for the implementation of several Sustainable Development Goals, such as SDG4 (Quality Education), SDG9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and SDG 10 (Reduced inequalities) and SDG16 (Peace, Justice and strong Institutions). New information and communication technologies allow delivering up-to-date digital methods with emerging forms of learning, teaching and technology transfer.

The goal of this cluster of cooperation is to bridge the digital gap between the Global North and South to ensure equal access to information, cutting edge tools and techniques, and therefore, to foster innovation, partnership and entrepreneurship.

The following thematic focuses are targeted:

A) Digital Education & Partnership

B) Engineering

C) Peacebuilding

D) Gender & Diversity

E) Better Public Governance

Relevant contributions of the CLOC DEAR MENA for development and cooperation between Swiss and MENA institutions within the different thematic focuses include:

  • Developing an institutional framework for education and research by providing methods and expertise in the MENA region,
  • Providing an attractive base for the future joint acquisition of teaching and research funding,
  • Offering the opportunity to learn about the latest developments, share insights, and get up to date with digital technologies in teaching and research.



Partner Institutions

Swiss partners

HES-SO , University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland

Prof. Dr. Fariba Moghaddam

EPFL – Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

Prof. Dr. Denis Gillet

University of Basel / swisspeace

Prof. Dr. Laurent Goetschel

University of Zurich

Prof. Dr. Bettina Dennerlein

Università della Svizzera italiana

Prof. Dr. Jean-Patrick Villeneuve


MENA partners

Saint Joseph University of Beirut, Lebanon

Prof. Dr. Marc Ibrahim

Islamic University of Gaza, Palestine

Prof. Dr. Ahmed Muhaisen

Center of Arabic and Islamic Studies in Fez, Morocco

Prof. Dr. Moha Ennaji

Lebanese American University, Lebanon

Prof. Dr. Harag Margossian

Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran

Prof. Dr. Amir Abolfazl Suratgar

University of Kurdistan, Iran

Prof. Dr. Qobad Shafiee

Birzeit University, Ibrahim Abu Lughod Institute of International Studies, Palestine

Prof. Dr. Lourdes Habasch

Centre ISIS Pour Femmes et Développement in Fez, Morocco

Prof. Dr. Fatima Sadiqi

The Women and Memory Forum in Cairo, Egypt

Prof. Dr. Hoda Elsadda

Grant Program

To achieve the CLOC objectives with the aim of encouraging the collaboration between Swiss and MENA partners and for extending the partnership to other Swiss and MENA institutions, a Grant program is proposed.

The Grant program supports the promotion of SDGs in MENA region in the fields of “Digital Education and Research” in one of the following forms:

A) An activity involving interdisciplinary engagement to promote SDGs in the MENA region, in the form of a:

  • Interdisciplinary programs and studies
  • Feasibility studies
  • Explorative and scoping studies
  • Meta-analysis

B) An activity on available research results and based on the conversion of academic research outputs into tools and strategies that supports digital education and research in the thematic focuses of engineering, peacebuilding, gender & diversity and public governance:

  • Teaching materials and online resources
  • Web-based collaborative infrastructures and tools for education and research purposes
  • Proof of concept or prototype feasibility studies
  • Skills building Workshops or blended research in a CLOC MENA thematic focus areas

Eligibility to Apply

Teams from all countries of the MENA region and Switzerland are eligible to apply.

The team members can be professors, Master students, Young PhDs and Post-Docs, Research teams, NGOs or Communities of practice. Relevant experience will be evaluated to award the grant.

Two requirements for the team composition:

  • At least, one of the partners must be one of our Swiss partners
  • At least, one of the partners must be from MENA region

Grant funding

The maximum amount that may be requested is CHF 80’000 per project. 60% of the funding received per project is allocated to the Swiss institutions and 40% is allocated to MENA institutions. The allocation 60/40 is due to Swiss regulation on public funds.

By accepting the SERI contributions, Swiss participating institutions agree to provide the amount of contributions received, in matching funds. These funds can be split in 50% virtual money and 50% real money contributions.


Submission Deadline

15 September 2021


Notification of Results

1 November 2021


Duration of funding

The grants are awarded for a minimum of 1 year and a maximum of 3 years.

The start date:  From 10 November 2021 on

The end date:   End of 2024


Submission documents