July 2023, Barcelona – Research and innovation are key for innovating the Mediterranean economies and for employing its students and researchers. Structured dialogue between academia, business sector and policymakers is a powerful way to connect this sector more closely with the regional sustainable economy agenda.
While the region experiences high rates of graduate unemployment, 32% of enterprises in some Southern Mediterranean countries have identified labour skill levels as a major constraint to hiring.
With the support of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) has launched since 2020 a series of activities facilitating exchanges between the different societal pillars of the “triple/quintuple helix”, in support of the innovation ecosystem, and the employability of its youth.
As part of such activities, the UfM is currently developing a Study on Green Innovation and Employability, with the technical support of UNIMED, the Mediterranean Universities Union, focusing on three pilot countries: Jordan, Italy and Tunisia.
A cycle of roundtables has been organized by the UfM and UNIMED in the three Member States, to further analyze relations among academy, industry and political institutions with a particular focus on green innovation and the green transitions.
The roundtables have been organized in partnerships with Jordan’s Higher Council for Science and Technology (Amman, 8 June), the Italian Ministry of Universities and Research (7 June), and the Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (11 July), with the local coordination of the line UfM National Focal Points
Important contributions have been shared by stakeholders from universities, research centers, enterprises, civil society and different sectorial Ministries, such as Research, Labor, and Industry, among others. Discussions have focused on how research could contribute to the socio-economic development of Countries for a better employability of graduates and young researchers in the perspective towards the green transition.
The Study will define a set of recommendations to further improve the relationship among industry, academia and government in a triple helix approach at national and regional levels, linking Euro-Mediterranean cooperation with Roadmaps endorsed by the UfM Ministerial Declaration on Research and Innovation. A presentation of the study is scheduled to be held during the UNIMED Week in Brussels next October.