Academic, Science & Technology

The Indian Ocean Region evidences significant advancements in academic excellence and scientific/technological innovation. The diverse levels of progress seen across its Member States paint a dynamic picture, enriching the region's intellectual and technological landscape. Recognising this inherent strength, IORA Member States have joined forces to propel collective progress even further. 

The IORA Action Plan (2022-2026) serves as a roadmap for this collaborative journey. Within its framework, strategic goals have been established with a view to achieve the same under the auspices of dedicated IORA Institutional Mechanisms: 

  • Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG): Fostering academic excellence through collaborative research, knowledge exchange, and capacity building initiatives. 
  • Working Group on Science, Technology and Innovation (WGSTI): Spearheading regional cooperation and collaboration in cutting-edge science and technology. 

Through these mechanisms, IORA aims to leverage the diverse strengths of its Member States, bridging the gaps between individual advancements and fostering a collaborative ecosystem of shared knowledge and progress. This collective effort promises to not only empower individual nations but also propel the entire Indian Ocean Region towards a brighter, more innovative future. 

Past Events
28th IORAG Meeting, 26-27 September 2023, Cape Town, South Africa
IORA-GIZ Research Study on “COVID-19 and Climate Change
International collaborative study tour short course International Relations in the Indian Ocean Region, 30 January-10 February 2023, Mauritius.
Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group
The Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG), established in 1997 as the first of the Indian Ocean Rim Association's (IORA) Institutional Mechanisms, serves a vital role in fostering academic cooperation.

IORAG envisions a future where enhanced dialogue, research, exchange, and networking across all priority and cross-cutting areas of the IORA, significantly strengthens academic collaboration. 


Recent efforts have aimed to reinvigorate the Academic Group and solidify its impact. Building upon initiatives begun during Australia's chairmanship, South Africa formally proposed institutional reform in 2017, seeking to establish a more dynamic link between policy and projects across IORA bodies. This emphasis on collaboration was further reinforced by the 2018 revision of the IORA Charter, which requires all Functional Bodies, including IORAG, to operate under formally established Modalities and Terms of Reference (TOR). These TORs are recommended by the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) and approved by the Council of Ministers (COM). As of today, the Islamic Republic of Iran holds the esteemed position of IORAG Chair, across IORA's priority and cross-cutting areas. 


IORAG's purpose is to advance IORA's efforts by aligning with, and potentially extending beyond, the goals outlined in IORA Action Plans. Its advisory and catalytic role is guided by the following key objectives: 


  • Promote intellectual dialogue: This objective emphasises fostering open exchange of ideas and perspectives amongst member states. 
  • Disseminate knowledge: IORAG aims to develop and share knowledge related to the Indian Ocean Rim, including the "Indian Ocean Rim Concept" and relevant research. 
  • Support IORA institutions: Through rigorous research, IORAG assists both Primary Bodies (Council of Ministers, Committee of Senior Officials, Secretariat) and Functional Bodies (Working Groups, Sub-Working Groups, Sectoral/Cluster/Core Groups, Dialogue Forums) within IORA. 
  • Provide evaluation and advisory services: IORAG offers evaluations and advice on academic activities within IORA, including assessments of proposed IORA Academic Centres of Excellence based on established Key Performance Indicators. 
  • Coordinate and evaluate research: IORAG plays a central role in coordinating and evaluating academic research generated across IORA and its various mechanisms. 
  • Support evidence-based decision-making: IORAG aims to facilitate research-based policy and decision-making by disseminating research findings through IORA journals and the IORA website. 
  • Promote academic collaboration: IORAG encourages national and regional networks and cooperation amongst training institutions, universities, and other specialised institutions across member states to foster human resource development and exchange. 
  • Strengthen regional analysis and collaboration: IORAG works to strengthen both political analysis and scientific research collaboration within the region. 
  • Disseminate knowledge for sustainable development: IORAG facilitates the sharing of knowledge and innovation to drive economic growth and environmental sustainability, encompassing both the creative economy and the "blue economy." 
  • Catalyse regional discussions: IORAG organises the "Indian Ocean Dialogue" (annually or biennially) to stimulate discussions on issues of regional importance. 
  • Develop a network of Think Tanks: IORAG strives to establish a network of Think Tanks across IORA member states. 
Ms Zelda Vrolick
Ms Kritika N Nuckchady
Programme Officer