The event brought together around 200 stakeholders from academic institutions, researchers, business community, financial institutions, NGOs and government, as well as innovators, entrepreneurs and start-ups. It included a public exhibition where EU member states; namely Italy, France, UK and Germany presented their higher education, research and innovation programmes that enable cooperation between European and Egyptian organizations.
Ms. Sandra De Waele, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt, Dr. Essam Khamis, Deputy Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Dr. Ahmed ElGioushy, Deputy Minister of Education inaugurated the event.
Ms. De Waele said the EU strongly believes that research, science and innovation can make a significant contribution to addressing the most urgent challenges in Egypt, noting that they can help create decent and sustainable jobs both in Egypt and Europe.
"Egypt`s leading role in EU–Mediterranean initiatives in research and innovation and science diplomacy is commendable and we are glad to note also the very good track record of Egypt`s participation in the EU research and innovation programmes, including Horizon 2020," stated De Waele.
Egypt successfully participated in 27 new projects under Horizon 2020 (H2020) which covered topics including cancer research, eco-fishing, Nano-technology, virtual simulation and water research, and benefitted of various initiatives supporting Egyptian researchers' mobility.
"H2020 will launch its new calls on 27 October and I hope that students, researchers and institutions in Egypt will continue to benefit from the new grants available," she added.
The Deputy Head of the EU Delegation mentioned several EU-funded programmes that link research and innovation with key stakeholders such as the industry, business community and the society. "One of the flagship activities that the EU has supported is the 'Famelab' competition, in partnership with the British Council. Thanks to this initiative hundreds of young Egyptians have competed to show their talents in communicating science to the public."
She highlighted as well the EU-Egypt cooperation in the area of higher education. "Between 2008 and 2014, around 1000 Egyptian students benefited from EU-sponsored scholarships. During the same period, Egyptian institutions participated in 49 Tempus projects, involving 29 Egyptian universities. Tempus projects have played a key role in promoting the internationalisation and modernisation of Egyptian higher education institutions."
Ms. De Waele drew the attention to the third call for proposals the EU is launching this month under Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education. "I highly encourage all of you to keep Egypt one of the top participating countries as it has been in the last years," she concluded.