5 Universities, NIOC Sign R&D Contract

5 Universities, NIOC Sign R&D Contract
5 Universities, NIOC Sign R&D Contract

Following an agreement between the Iranian National Oil Co. (NIOC), universities and research centers, the latter have been assigned the task of developmental research in some oil fields, ILNA reported.

Technology-based progress has increased rapidly in both developed and developing states in recent years. Due to the fact that education and research are the cornerstones of meaningful and sustainable progress, a comprehensive plan in scientific arenas is a must. Policymakers in Tehran are now more than ever aware of the role and importance of R&D. As a result,  special attention has been accorded to research in drawing up the 20-Year Vision plan whose aim is to promote the country's overall position at the national, regional and international levels and reach a developed status by 2025.  

In 2005, the Expediency Council approved the Vision Plan to help promote the country's position in national, regional and international levels in which Iran should become a developed country in 20 years in terms economic, scientific and technical status in the region.

To fulfill the lofty goal along with the oil ministry's emphasis on utilizing universities' expertise in oil field development, an agreement was signed between the NIOC as the contractor and research centers according to which they have been given the responsibility of overall research in oil field development.

Under the agreement, the uiversities of Shiraz, Sharif, Amir Kabir, Sahand and Tehran are to collaborate with NIOC to help expand use of production technologies in addition to increasing extraction levels from the Maroun and Azadegan oil fields. The oil ministry has allocated $44 million for the 10-year program.

Whether or not universities are capable of performing such an arduous task is a matter of time. Needless to say, energy is, has been, and will be the most controversial issue in international politics. Iran seemingly was oblivious to the role and importance of R&D for decades simply because whenever it needed advanced technology it was acquired with oil money instead of relying on local talent and the ability/potential of research centers.

Dynamism in the oil ministry and cooperation with centers of higher learning can and must improve in the long-term national interest. Economic and social experts have long been pushing for promoting local talent in collaboration with the comity of nations willing and able to work with Iran and its academic centers for mutual interest and decent economic growth.