USAID’s Partnerships for Enhanced Engagement Research (PEER) and National Instruments have begun moving forward with a joint effort to make scientific research tools and materials more easily available to scientists throughout the developing world.
The goals of PEER include assisting in the funding of scientists that are looking for new ways to approach some of the most important issues that hinder the progress of many developing countries such as water quality, crop production, overpopulation and malnutrition.
This public-private team-up will work well for all involved. USAID has a funding partner that will be able to contribute additional funds to the cause. National Instruments will, over the long term, build new markets for their products and encourage the creation of projects similar to their current work with USAID. At the same time, scientists who receive this funding and the new tools will be able to continue with their research, promoting the advancement of scientific research in their home countries and helping solve some problems that are specific to the developing world.
It is often noted that a regular TI-84 calculator used in many high school calculus classes have far more computing power than the entire system that was used to plan and execute the lunar landing. This is a startling fact and really shows how far a bit of technology and a great amount of motivation can go.
The desire to better the countries certainly exists already and programs like this partnership will be able to add the necessary tools and technology to make the difference. This is a public-private relationship that may prove to be out of this world.
– Kevin Sullivan