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The UNESCO was founded on 16 November 1945. The main objective of UNESCO is to contribute to peace and security in the world by promoting collaboration amongst nations through education, science, culture and communication. The purpose of the Science System Management Unit is twofold: capacity-building and policy advice in science and technology; promote university-industry-science partnership.

The regular budget of UNESCO is constituted by the mandatory contributions from its Member States. The Organisation can also receive voluntary contributions from Member States or donor bodies for the implementation of its regular programme as approved by the General Conference or for the implementation of operational projects in the fields of competence of the Organization.
UNESCO promotes international co-operation among its 190 Member States and six Associate Members in the fields of education, science, culture and communication. UNESCO has field offices in each region of the world: 18 in Africa, 6 in the Arab States, 14 in Asia, and 13 in Latin America.

UNESCO is the largest multi-disciplinary UN agency having about two thousand staff working in the fields of education, science (natural, social and human), culture and communication. There are programmes within the organisation on technical and vocational education, poverty reduction, cultural industries, science, technology and innovation policy which are of relevance to INSME programme to support micro, small and medium enterprises. The Science Systems Management Unit of the Division of Science Analysis and Policies is the hub through which UNESCO can collaborate with INSME. The Unit assists Member States to formulate and evaluate national science, technology and innovation policies and enhancing capacity building. In addition, the Unit runs UNISPAR, the partnership between university, research institutes and private companies (which are largely SMEs). The current thrust of the programme is to improve the policy competences of SMEs associations and build capacities for technological entrepreneurship in higher educational institutions and research institutes.