NATO Advanced Research Workshop "Smart Materials for Energy, Communication and Security" (ARW SMECS)  is not a conventional scientific conference but the meeting of the internationally leading material science experts having the objective to ensure their contact with colleagues from Morocco and other Maghreb countries with the main focus to review and stimulate the exploration of these emerging technologies and materials in academic and HT-industrial institutions of Maghreb.

ARW SMECS is provided and sponsored by the NATO for Peace and Security Program in frame of the Mediterranean Dialogue project. Rapid development of the West-East trade, cultural and human relations, and global processes of industry delocalization require the qualitative and quantitative enhancement of the collaborative links in the area of high-technology (HT) exploration, including the transfer of know-how, restructuration of basic research and educational networks. Because of its geopolitical situation, advanced research and educational infrastructure, Morocco serves as the key point of the HT- implementation in the countries of Mediterranean Dialogue (MD).

Accordingly, our Workshop has the purpose to encourage the creation of following collaborative links in the material research area: NATO-MD: technology and R&D transfer, MD-MD: installation of the horizontal inter-Maghrebian peer-to-peer and tutorial (like Morocco - Mauritania) collaborations, NATO-NATO: interaction and information exchange.

The principal topics of ARW SMECS are related either with the already implemented or with potentially perspective for MD countries materials and technologies

- Materials for Environmental Security

- Photovoltaic, Solar Energy, Energy Storage
- Electroactive materials
- Materials for Emerging Technologies
- Telecom Materials and Technologies

History: ARW SMECS is an important stage of the long-term collaboration project between Participating Institutions.

Started in 90s, the Organizer’s collaboration in the area of Electroactive Materials was supported in 2003 by the NATO Collaborative Linkage Grant. In 2004 we created the research network “Moroccan Electronic Materials” (MEM)  that was the natural continuation of the NATO Linkage Grant. The first congress of MEM, (70 Moroccan+7 European participants), was organized in 2005 in the young Saharian University of ErRachidia. Then, the International Meeting on Materials for Electronic Applications - IMMEA-2007 (more then 200 participants from 16 countries) was organized in Marrakech in May 2007. The large number of collaboration research projects on the bi- and multilateral level (like e.g. Foreign Affairs Ministries ACI poject Volubilis between Amiens (France) and Marrakech) was started in the frame of the network MEM. The network MEM stimulated also the joint Morocco-Europe co-oriented PhD thesis and high-level Professor habilitations. In May 2007 the important decision to orient the MEM structure to other Maghreb countries: Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania was taken and the International Coordination Committee was designated. As the first step we program to organize the next MEM meeting in 2009 in University of Sfax, Tunis.

The important feature of ARW SMECS is the multidisciplinary that will allow to share the mutual interests and experience of participants, providing the interpenetration of ideas from different material research areas and from different activity fields. All the speakers are recommended to give a short overview of the place of their subject in the general stream of modern research and technology applications, the possibility to integrate their activity in the material research of MD countries, and the potential application of their materials for the environmental, civil and regional security applications.

Special session in format of Round Table will be devoted to the political overview of the current collaboration between NATO and MD countries, the expectations and understanding of the partners, and to HT transfer to the less developed countries, like Mauritania.

We believe that such format of Workshop will enhance the mutual understanding between NATO and MD partners and will be highly beneficial and stimulating for both sides. It will give an important impact on the further development of collaboration and stimulate an access to the joint research programs supported by national sources, EC (CORDIS), NSF and, especially by the NATO Program for Security Through Science.

We acknowledge here the political and research institutions that, together with NATO-for –Peace-and-Security-Program helped us to organize the ARW SMECS: Cady Ayad University of Marrakech, Office of Naval Research Global, UK; French and Moroccan Foreign Affairs Ministries (Program ACI VOLUBILIS),  Springer Science Inc.

Trying to provide the best conditions, we wish you a productive and creative work during the Workshop and agreeable stay in the best orient town Marrakech!