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Yale Welcomes Visiting Scholar from AUC School of Business

Nagla Rizk, associate dean, graduate studies and research, School of Business, director of the Access to Knowledge for Development Center (A2K4D) and associate professor of economics, recently returned from Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut, where she taught a course on knowledge, technology and development as part of ongoing collaboration between A2K4D and Yale’s Information Society Project. The partnership, which began in 2006, seeks to generate research on knowledge access, openness and intellectual property (IP). 
“There is a void in this area of scholarship in our part of the world,” said Rizk, highlighting the need to raise awareness of the developmental aspects of knowledge and IP in the Arab world. “But this is larger than IP,” she noted. “It is also about looking for novel business models that address the tension between knowledge producers and consumers, particularly in the digital economy.”
Adopting a participatory approach to knowledge production and sharing, researchers from AUC and Yale have, since 2007, been working together to promote access to knowledge in fields as diverse as software development, agriculture and medicine. They have been recently joined by other universities in Brazil, China, India and South Africa. Together, the partners have founded the Access to Knowledge Global Academy to serve as a worldwide network for access to knowledge research, teaching and advocacy.
Thus far, the collaborative effort on Egypt’s access to knowledge research has produced a book titled Access to Knowledge in Egypt: New Research on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development, co-edited by Rizk, and will generate a second work on open-source software and access to medicine in the Arab world in the near future.There is also potential to expand and undertake cross-cutting country and regional comparisons, explained Rizk, who advocates studying differentiation in new areas like music, media and technology.
AUC’s Access to Knowledge for Development Center helps raise awareness of such issues among students. “One of the main goals of the center is to research capacity building for students,” said Rizk, who teaches courses in the economics of digital technologies, IP and development. “Students relate to these issues since they are part of their everyday lives and are relevant to their careers.” One project she plans to assign students next semester involves researching applications on Apple’s iPad as a new platform for knowledge delivery in the digital economy.
A2K4D also provides AUC students with the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with peers from Yale and other universities. Likewise, students from Yale will be hosted as research fellows at the center.