Baden Lab

Visual information processing and the natural input

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TReND in Africa

Fostering Research and Education on the African continent

Outside my research work I co-founded a not-for-profit organisation "TReND in Africa" together with Lucia Prieto Godino (UNIL, CH). TReND, which stands for Teaching and Research in Natural Scienes for Development in Africa, is a non-profit organisation run entirely by volunteer scientists at universities worldwide. We are dedicated to foster science education and research in the region, and we currently count >40 volunteer researchers on four continents, working together to bring state of the art equipment and knowledge to the African university landscape.

Sustainable development through higher education

We believe that truly sustainable development fundamentally depends on investment in higher education and scientific innovation. We run a wide range of educational activities, and support the establishment of top-level scientific facilities at several countries across the continent by leveraging large scale, low cost approaches to innovation and research. For this, we make use of latest technologies and developments, ranging from open source software and hardware approaches such as 3D printing, online teaching tools, and the use of cost-effetive yet powerful model organism such as the fruit fly Drosophila.

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Overcoming global inequality

Overcoming global inequality through education, as well as local empowerment have long been established as worldwide development goals; however, most existing projects focus at primary and secondary education, neglecting the role of the tertiary tier. However, investment in university education is a key foundation towards a sustainable program in which future primary and secondary teachers are educated locally to the highest standards, which eventually will make these countries independent from Western volunteers. In addition, scientific education is pivotal to the ability of societies to innovate, move forward and integrate within the global society. To date, most developing nations need to import their solutions, innovations and patents from abroad, while losing their most capable minds to Western universities. Therefore we believe that providing top-level education to local elites in their home country is key to enabling developing societies to take their futures into their own hands.

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