EU-Egypt Innovation Day brings together stakeholders
The European Commission and the Egyptian Ministry of Scientific Research organized an "EU-Egypt Innovation Day" on 8 February, 2016 to raise Egyptian awareness of EU Research &Innovation (R&I) programmes. The event also aimed at creating cooperation opportunities and new networks between public/private sciences, technology and innovation players from Europe and Egypt.
Ms. Maria Cristina Russo, Director of International Cooperation at the Directorate General Research and Innovation of the European Commission and H.E Ambassador James Moran, Head of the EU Delegation to Egypt, and Dr. Essam Khames, Deputy Minister of Scientific Research opened the event. The opening session also included a key note speech by the Vice President of SIEMENS Egypt.
The Innovation Day brought together around 300 stakeholders from academic institutions, researchers and representatives of industry, financial institutions, NGOs and government as well as innovators, entrepreneurs and start-ups. The EC presented research and innovation funding and collaboration opportunities under the EU new framework programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020. Egypt successfully participated in 20 new projects under 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.
The Innovation Day included "Research and Innovation cafes", where EU MS – including Spain, France, UK, Germany, Austria, and Czech Republic - presented their research and innovation programmes that enable cooperation between European and Egyptian organizations. Alongside the event, the EC organized a roundtable with key research and innovation stakeholders. The roundtable aimed at enhancing current EU-Egypt R&I cooperation by bringing together key stakeholders under a single forum to initiate dialogue, share knowledge and network over current challenges and opportunities of EU-Egypt cooperation.
In response to the economic and political situation in Egypt, an EU-Egypt Task Force, the largest-ever meeting between the European Union and Egypt took place in November 2012. It was agreed during the task force on a major package of economic and political assistance to help Egypt with its ongoing transition. The Task Force, co-chaired by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Egyptian Foreign Minister confirmed the EU as Egypt's largest economic partner. The EU already provides 80% of inward investment into Egypt and the Task Force confirmed the European Union as Egypt's largest economic partner. Following the EU-Egypt Task Force, the European Commission committed to provide additional financial support to Egypt for an overall amount of nearly EUR 800 million. This is made up of EUR 303 million in the form of grants (EUR 90 million from Spring funds, 50 million as a grant component of the micro-financial assistance operation, the balance is from the Neighbourhood Investment Facility) and 450 million in the form of loans (macro-financial assistance). However, the EU will deliver on its financial support only if the necessary political and democratic conditions are met with the democratic transition being pursued, strengthened and fully inclusive with full respect of Human and Women rights.
A key element of our cooperation is the development of closer scientific ties between Egypt and the European Research Area through increased Egyptian participation in the Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. The cooperation between the European Commission and Egypt in science and technology (S&T) is guided by:
- The European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) Action Plan, action 2.5 on Science and Technology, Research and Development - signed in 2007
The principle objectives underlying roadmap are the following:
- Develop closed scientific links between Egypt and the European Research Area through increased Egyptian participation in the Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.
- Develop the scientific and technological capacity with a focus on the use of research results by the industrial and small-medium enterprise sector.
- Promote the integration of Egypt into high-level exchanges.
- The EC-Egypt Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation, Road Map - signed in 2005
The European Commission and Egypt have signed an S&T agreement in 2005. Based on the S&T Agreement, a Joint Committee was set up between Egypt and the EC to discuss collaboration within FP7 and exchange views on thematic priorities of mutual interest, such as Health, Renewable Energy, Environment (including climate change), Food Agriculture Fisheries and Biotechnology. The rolling Road Map of the EC-Egypt Science and Technology Agreement identifies research priorities and specific areas of mutual interest for further cooperation. Renewable energy, environment (water and climate change), health, agriculture, food, and information and communication technologies have been identified as key research areas.
In addition to FP7, other financial assistance for the support EC-Egypt S&T cooperation is provided by the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI).
The following programmes have been funded by the MEDA/ENPI:
- Bilateral: Research, Development and Innovation Programme (RDI)
- Regional: MEDIBTIKAR (Euro-Med Innovation and Technology Programme)
Egypt has Science and Technology Agreements with a lot of countries, such as the USA, China and Japan. Concerning the EU Member States, Egypt has S&T Agreements with almost all the EU Member States, except Denmark, Sweden, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania and Slovakia. Different S&T&I activities, such as collaborative research projects, joint research funds, mobility schemes and networking, take place within the framework of such agreements.
There are two EU cooperation/funding mechanisms for Research and Innovation in Egypt: the Framework Programme and the ENPi which finances RDI II programme at the level of 20 Million Euros for four years:
The RDI programme The RDI plays pivotal role in the implementation of capacity building and R&I initiatives in Egypt. The first phase of RDI (2007-10) was funded by MEDA with a budget of €11 million. RDI II is funded by the ENPi (€20 million). RDI II had three main components:
- EU-Egypt Innovation Fund (EEIF) which provides competitive grants to innovative applied research projects. Under RDI II, EU-Egypt cooperation was pursued in the context of the EU-Egypt Innovation fund where numerous areas of common interest have been selected as a base for the funds grant programme. The fund focuses on projects inline with Egypt's innovation objectives including Energy, Water, ICT, Environment, Biotechnology, Health, Space, Manufacturing Industries, Food, Agriculture and Education. Two calls for proposals under two different schemes were launched in May and June of 2012.
- Grant Scheme 1: (€200,000 - €600,000) aims to:
Support initiatives and projects that contribute to the achievement of sustainable development in Egypt. Increase capital investment, enhance technological innovation and improve competitiveness of the different economic sectors in Egypt. Provide a sustainable and effective tool to raise and channel resources to Egypt's innovation priorities. Strengthen cooperation with European and regional counterparts and hence enable the transfer of technology, know how, and best practices to Egyptian institutions.
- Grant Scheme 2: (€50,000 - €100,000) aims at:
Enhancing collaboration between the research community, the industry and the society at large to embark on fruitful cooperation aiming at fostering technological innovation. Raising awareness on importance of R&D and innovation in developing new technologies and their economic and social impacts, promoting and fostering the culture and passion for science and innovation and enabling entrepreneurs to develop certain ideas that do not need mega financing. Supporting activities aiming at strengthening cooperation with European and regional counterparts and hence enable the transfer of technology, know how, and best practices to Egyptian institutions.
- Grant Scheme 1: (€200,000 - €600,000) aims to:
- Establish an RDIN: A network that is composed of a central unit in at the Ministry of Scientific Research in Cairo and extends nationwide represented by 44 RDIN Focal Points (FPs). The RDIN FPs is responsible to provide information, guidance and support to researchers in their respective organizations who wish to participate in different components of the FP7 programme.
- Support to innovation clusters and Centres of Excellence. RDI II will support the establishment of innovation clusters with the drafting of a call for proposals that would be launched in 2013.
Cooperation within the FP
The Sixth Framework Programme (FP6: 2002-2006) allowed increased opportunities for collaboration between Egyptian and European researchers. An important dimension of FP6 was International Cooperation (INCO), which funded specific projects involving developing and Mediterranean partner countries.
The Seventh Framework Programme (FP7: 2007-2013) has opened up new possibilities for international cooperation. All thematic areas are open for participation and funding of Egyptian partners. In addition, FP7 has Specific International Cooperation Actions (SICA) topics that target certain regional research priorities of common interest across Africa and the Mediterranean region.
As a general principle, participation in FP7 is open to a wide range of organizations and individuals from any country in the world. However, the procedures for participation and funding possibilities vary for different groups of countries. Egyptian researchers like those from other African and Mediterranean partner countries, can receive funding from FP7, but have to be part of consortia with a minimum number of participants from EU Member States or Associated Countries (countries that pay a share to the overall budget of FP7).
Egypt has a high level participation (highest among southern Mediterranean countries) in submitted proposals in the Framework Programme7 (FP7) with an overall success rate of 14%
- Egypt NCPs:
The NCP network is the main provider of advice and individual assistance on FP7 Programme. Since NCPs are appointed for each of the areas of FP7, when seeking support you should contact the NCP relevant to your area of interest.
- RDIN Focal Points:
- RDIN is short for "Research, Development and Innovation Network" and is an integral component of the RDI Programme. The RDIN mission is to promote and facilitate the participation of Egyptian researchers in the European Research Area while maximizing the potential for Egypt to fully benefit from available opportunities under the 7th Framework Programme. More about the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7).
- The RDIN is composed of a central unit in the Programme Implementation Office (PIO) at the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MHESR) in Cairo and extends nationwide represented by RDIN Focal Points (FPs). The RDIN FPs are responsible to provide information, guidance and support to researchers in their organizations who wish to participate in different components of the FP7 programme.
- The RDIN maintains a strong communication among its members and with the network of National Contact Points in Egypt as well as with European counterparts. RDIN organizes and participates in many activities in pursuit of its objectives, register on the RDI web site to receive regular information about these activities.
- Health [45 KB]
- Food, Agriculture, Fisheries and Biotechnology [75 KB]
- Information and Communication Technologies [43 KB]
- Nanotechnology [26 KB]
- Energy [51 KB]
- Water resources and Climate Change [57 KB]
- Cultural Heritage [76 KB]
- Transport [27 KB]
- Socioeconomic Studies and Humanities [25 KB]
- Marie Curie Actions - Mobility for Researchers [28 KB]
- Capacities [35 KB]
- Indexes and Data [59 KB]
- Delegation of the EU to Egypt
- European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)
- The Research Development and Innovation (RDI) Programme
- ShERACA project
- The Egyptian Science and Technology portal
- The Egyptian Science and Technology community portal: ScienceBook
- Academy of Scientific Research and Technology
- Science and Technology Development Fund (STDF)
- MHESR Initiatives
- Industrial Modernisation Centre
DG Research and Innovation
Policy Officer - European Neighbourhood, Africa and the Gulf
Tel: (+32) 229 69124
Research and Innovation officer
37 Gamaet El Dowal El Arabeya St.,
El Fouad Office Bldg., Giza, Egypt
Tel: (+202) 3749 4680, ext. 125
Fax:(+202) 3749 5357