In its role of Academy, PALAST took the initiative in 2001 to conduct a study to assess scientific research in Palestine, including the current status and obstacles. To that end, PALAST, carried out multiple focus meetings with the different stakeholders, ranging from governmental to non-governmental and private educational institutions in order to attain a diverse and comprehensive view of the state of play of scientific research in Palestine and to hear the recommendations and experiences of people directly involved.
Following these focus group meetings, the Academy organized a preliminary workshop, “Growth and Development of Basic Scientific Research in Palestine”, which was held simultaneously in the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology offices in Ramallah and Gaza, on 17 April 2001.
This meeting was attended by representatives of the relevant Ministries, Universities, Research Centers and individual stakeholders. The workshop aimed at investigating practical steps to develop scientific and technological research activities. The focus of the meeting was the current status of Scientific Research in Palestine; the obstacles met, and suggested solutions, such as activating research through cooperation and coordination between the various national parties. One of the main topics raised was the foundation of a Science Fund. This Fund aims to provide funds for Scientific Research in order to ameliorate its status in Palestine. After the workshop, a questionnaire prepared by the Academy was circulated to collect information for the preparation of a final report.
The Academy conducted a second workshop in 2002 to discuss the results of the questionnaire and to obtain participant recommendations regarding the role of the Academy in ameliorating the state and scope of Scientific Research in Palestine.
Following its assessment of Scientific Research in Palestine, the Palestine Academy published a final report in December 2002 entitled “Scientific Research in Palestine: Reality, Challenges and Means of Activation and Development”. This publication is based on the results of focus group meetings, a preparatory workshops and a survey that were undertaken in 2001 in cooperation with the scientific research stakeholders at the national level and is funded by the British Consulate General.