TWAS is an autonomous international organization based in Trieste, Italy. Its principal aim is to promote scientific capacity and excellence for sustainable development in the South.
Update: At the 23rd General Meeting of 'TWAS, the academy of sciences for the
developing world', held in Tianjin, China, on 18 September 2012, Academy
members decided to change TWAS's name to 'The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), for the advancement of science in developing countries'.
Also see: What's in a name?
TWAS, the academy of sciences for the developing world, is an autonomous international organization, founded in 1983 in Trieste, Italy, by a distinguished group of scientists from the South under the leadership of the late Nobel laureate Abdus Salam of Pakistan. It was officially launched by the secretary-general of the United Nations in 1985.
TWAS represents the best of science in developing countries. Its main mission is to promote scientific excellence and capacity in the South for science-based sustainable development.
The Academy's strength resides in the quality and diversity of its membership -- internationally renowned scientists elected by their peers. TWAS Fellows, who live and work in developing countries, represent 85 percent of the membership; TWAS Associate Fellows live and work in developed countries. The current membership stands at 1073 [15 January 2013].
A Council, elected every three years by TWAS members, is responsible for the Academy's broad policy and programmatic directions. The Secretariat, headed by an executive director and located on the premises of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) in Trieste, Italy, assists the Council in the administration and coordination of the programmes.
In 1991, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) assumed responsibility for administering TWAS funds and personnel on the basis of an agreement signed by TWAS and UNESCO. In 2004, the Italian government passed a law that ensures a continuous financial contribution to the Academy's operation. Representatives of the Italian government and UNESCO are members of the TWAS Steering Committee, which meets annually to discuss financial matters.
In addition to its strong links with UNESCO and ICTP, TWAS provides administrative support for the Organization of Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSDW, formerly TWOWS), the InterAcademy Panel (IAP) and the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP). The Academy also maintains close ties with academies, research councils and ministries of science and technology in developing countries.
- Recognize, support and promote excellence in scientific research in the developing world;
- Respond to the needs of young scientists in S&T-lagging developing countries;
- Promote South-South and South-North cooperation in science, technology and innovation;
- Encourage scientific research and sharing of experiences in solving major problems facing developing countries.
Main Contributors to TWAS's Current Activities
- The Government of Italy
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
- the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
- the OPEC Fund for International Development
- the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS)
- Microsoft Research Ltd, UK
- the European Union, 7th Framework Programme (FP7)
- Partners in TWAS's Exchange Programmes:
- Brazil: National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), Brasilia
- China: Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Beijing
- Kenya: International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Nairobi
- India: Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), New Delhi
- India: Department of Biotechnology of the Ministry of Science and Technology (DBT), New Delhi
- India: S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, Kolkata
- India: Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Kolkata
- Malaysia: Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang
- Mexico: National Science and Technology Council (CONACYT), Mexico City
- Pakistan: National Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology (CEMB), Lahore
- Pakistan: International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi
- Thailand: National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), Pathumthani