The United Nations University (UNU) has unveiled plans for a major global research centre that will focus on innovation and development.
The centre's objectives will be to focus on policy aspects of its research and to ensure the research has global relevance. It will also provide training and capacity building programmes at the academic and policy level.
Luc Soete, founder and director of MERIT, says the aim of the merger is to: "create a centre of research excellence which has the potential to become of world significance."
When completed, the merger would provide resources for research in several areas, including the governance of science, technology and innovation.
A merger would also modernise the way research is carried out and shared between the two institutes. Traditionally MERIT has focused more on Europe and the west and UNU-INTECH on the developing world. However, Soete says such divisions are increasingly challenged by technological changes and by the emergence of countries in transition.