The IAU OAD launches a Collaboration Gateway 

The International Astronomical Union Office of Astronomy for Development has launched a collaboration gateway. The gateway will facilitate the use of astronomy skills and knowledge in development challenges. The OAD aims to utilise astronomy knowledge, skills and infrastructures as a tool for sustainable development. Furthermore, the Collaboration Gateway serves to harness astronomy skills and knowledge towards positive outcomes for society. Thus, participants from the astronomy, development and broader academic communities can contribute in simple, yet meaningful ways, through the Gateway.

The Collaboration Gateway launched at the Department of Science and Innovation’s (DSI) annual Science Forum South Africa (SFSA) in December 2021. SFSA brings together scientists across disciplines, policymakers and the South African public and media. In addition, access to the OAD Collaboration Gateway is through this link: The webpage will evolve according to the needs of the communities it serves. Thus the OAD welcomes and encourages collaborative, development-related ideas from all stakeholders. This is as the Gateway is part of the OAD’s effort to be a space for interdisciplinary conversations about positively impacting society.

About the IAU and OAD

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is an organisation that brings together about 12 000 astronomers from around the world. Founded in 1919, the IAU is the world’s largest professional body of astronomers. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. The IAU is the international authority for assigning designations to celestial bodies and the surface features on them.

The Office of Astronomy for Development (OAD) has been hosted at the South African Astronomical Observatory since 2011, through a partnership between the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the National Research Foundation (NRF), with the support of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). The goal of the OAD is to use astronomy as a tool for development globally. Since its establishment the OAD has, through an annual call for proposals and funding from the IAU, supported over 200 astronomy-for-development projects targeting beneficiaries in over 100 countries, with grants totalling around 1 million Euros. The OAD currently coordinates 11 regional offices globally, based in Armenia, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Jordan, Portugal, Netherlands, Nigeria, Thailand, USA and Zambia. 

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