IOCD’s mission is to promote the pursuit and application of the chemical sciences for sustainable, equitable human development and economic growth, especially in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) through:
Raising the profile of the chemical sciences in development among researchers, funders and policy-makers;
Increasing the capacity to conduct and use the chemical sciences in LMICs to advance their development by strengthening capacities at the individual, institutional and national/systems levels to apply the chemical sciences to meet current and futures challenges;
Strengthening the participation of LIMCs researchers in the chemical sciences in national and global priority areas, including attaining the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the domains of better health and a better environment.
In the strategy 2012-2020, IOCD’s work focuses on three strategic priorities which aim to achieve IOCD’s mission and contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
1. Chemistry for better health:
· Capacity building for medicinal chemistry, including drug analysis, discovery and development, in and for the health needs of LMICs.
· IOCD supports structure elucidation and organizes regular symposia on plant chemistry. The Biotic Exploration Working Group has helped several countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to develop policies for ethical, sustainable bioprospecting, helping establish the foundations for new products and processes.
2. Chemistry for a better environment:
· To support the development and application of materials for energy conversion, saving and storage, by expediting technology transfer through connecting experts from around the world with local scientists, engineers and students in LMICs and creating a flow of knowledge and know-how to the local stakeholders.
· Fostering the development of low cost, adaptive technologies based on materials for energy conversion, saving and storage that fit within the paradigm of local-scale energy systems and that use local resources.
· To enhance capacities for environmental chemical analysis and sustainable use of biological resources.
· To support capacity building for the exploration and sustainable, ethical exploitation of natural resources in and for the benefit of LMICs.
3. Capacity building in chemistry education:
· Web-based resources: a) on-line tutorials in organic chemistry, available in Spanish; b) training in practical medicinal chemistry, available on-line and as a CD, to help up-grade the skills of chemists in the field of drug design and development.
· Books and equipment for international development. An IOCD group collects university textbooks across all disciplines, including the chemical sciences, as well as laboratory equipment and computers, and in collaboration with UNESCO makes a number of shipments each year to universities in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
· Micro scale science kits. Together with UNESCO, IUPAC and the International Foundation for Science Education, IOCD supports the Global Microscience Project — portable micro-scale kits enabling chemical reactions to be conducted with very small quantities of chemicals.
Internet-accessible knowledge resource based in the chemical sciences. IOCD is contributing to this through its ‘Distance Education’ and ‘Books for International Development’ working groups and projects.