This evaluation of scientific, technology and innovation capabilities in Lebanon is part of a larger regional project called ESTIME (Evaluation of Science, Technology and Innovation capabilities in Mediterranean countries) involving eight of Europe's Mediterranean Partner (MP) countries: Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestinian Territories.
Lebanon has a small but diverse and dispersed S&T community embedded in 41 universities and higher education institutions (12 of them with science and/or technology faculties) and 6 rather small research centres. All indicators (publication output, research budget, number of active researchers …etc), show that most of the research is carried out in three universities: the Université Libanaise or Lebanese University (UL), the Université St-Joseph or St-Joseph University (USJ) and the American University of Beirut (AUB), sometimes in collaboration with one of the four specialised research centres of the National Council for Scientific Research (NCSR) and/or the Lebanese Agricultural Research Institute (LARI).
Given the small size of most manufacturing companies in Lebanon, private sector R&D is still very limited. Hopefully, initiatives such as the creation of the Lebanese Industrial Research Association (LIRA) in 1997 and the promotion of joint industry-university research projects will increase private sector contributions and participation. There is also an increasing number of private research institutes, often NGOs, that carry out studies, mainly socio-economic studies such as opinion polls, market studies, and studies for international organisations e.g. the UN system. They very frequently use the services of university staff, mainly from the UL.
Due to the paucity of reliable statistical information on human resources and research budgets and the lack of a central institutional mechanism to collect this information, we had to spend many hours contacting each institution individually to gather whatever information was available. Despite all efforts there are still inconsistencies and gaps that need to be filled. The information and data presented in this report need to be refined and improved but at this stage already constitute one of the very first attempts to systematically evaluate S&T capacities in Lebanon using internationally recognised indicators.