UNESCO and HP joined forces in 2003 to develop several projects, using innovative technology to create a “brain gain” for regions that are particularly impacted by the exodus of academics and scientists. In 2009 UNESCO and HP agreed to scale up the initiative to help create a sustainable university e-infrastructure for science, bringing together higher education institutions and research centres in Africa and the Arab States region and allowing them to pursue innovative education projects. By the end of 2011, this infrastructure could span some 100 higher education institutions in 20 countries provided like-minded corporations and organisations join UNESCO and HP in this initiative.
In early 2009, UNESCO and HP agreed to extend the African pilot to some 100 higher education institutions in Africa and the Arab States region by 2011.
Through the use of distributed computing , UNESCO, HP and other partners plan to create the first pan-regional university network and help reduce the number of skilled workers, scientists, academics and researchers that leave these regions.
Innovative technology and funding support allows participating universities to re-establish links between researchers who have stayed in their countries and those living abroad, connect academics to international peers, research networks and funding opportunities. Faculties and students at beneficiary universities are able to work on innovative education projects with other institutions in their regions and around the world.