EU-Egypt PRIMA signature and JSTCC
From left to right: Mr Mohamed SHINAWI, Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt; Mr Clyde KULL, Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia to the EU; Ms Cristina RUSSO, European Commission's Director for International Cooperation
Today the EU and Egypt made a step forward towards strengthening their research and innovation cooperation. The two sides signed an agreement for scientific and technological cooperation setting out the terms and conditions for Egypt's participation in the Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area (PRIMA).
The agreement was signed by Ms Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation of the European Commission, and by Ambassador Clyde Kull, Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia to the European Union, on behalf of the European Union, and by Professor Mohamed Shinawi, Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research for International Relations, Agreements and Scientific Research, on behalf of Egypt.
This Agreement will now need to be ratified by both Parties to produce legal effects since no provisional application upon signature is foreseen.
Egypt has shown strong and continued support to the PRIMA initiative and is contributing with €30 million over a period of ten years, which reflects commitment to fostering its ties with the EU.
In parallel to the signature agreement the 7th meeting of the EU-Egypt Joint Science & Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC) took place on the same day in Brussels. Both sides took good note of recent research and innovation policy developments in Egypt, explored opportunities for cooperation under Horizon 2020 and laid out common priorities for the future.
The two sides discussed prospects for further cooperation, including in the context of PRIMA, the BLUEMED initiative for Blue Jobs and Growth in the Mediterranean, the African Union-EU Research and Innovation Partnership on Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture and the African Union-EU Research and Innovation Partnership on Climate Change and Sustainable Energy.
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 2001, putting their relationship on a firm legal footing, the EU and Egypt concluded negotiations on an Association Agreement. Since its entry into force in 2004, it has provided the framework for regular political dialogue between the two partners and enhanced cooperation in a number of key sectors, ranging from trade and investment to energy and education, and research and innovation (R&I). Temporarily on hold in the wake of the January 2011 revolution, the institutional dialogue meetings foreseen by the Association Agreement have resumed, and the first Association committee meeting in four years took place in May 2016 in Cairo.
The cooperation between the EU and Egypt in R&I is governed by the EU-Egypt Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement , signed in 2005, as well as the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan.
The EU-Egypt priorities for bilateral R&I cooperation are discussed in the Joint Science and Technology Cooperation Committee (JSTCC) meeting, as well as the ENP Sub-committee covering research, innovation, education, culture and information society. The last EU-Egypt JSTCC meeting took place at the Ministry of Scientific Research in Egypt in May, 2015. The highest potential for EU-Egypt cooperation in R&I is in climate action (particularly water management), food and agriculture, energy (particularly renewable energy and energy-water nexus) and health.
Egypt in the New European Neighbourhood Policy
With the view to further strengthening its relations with its partner countries in the neighbourhood, the EU in close consultation with Egypt and other countries concerned, agreed to find new ways to implement joint commitments. The new European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), as endorsed by the Council of the European Union in December 2015, while acknowledging the importance of sustained efforts in support of democracy, human rights, fundamental freedoms and rule of law, focuses on the stabilisation of the partner countries as its main political priority. Further key elements are differentiation and mutual ownership, recognising that not all partners aspire to comply with EU rules, and reflecting the wishes of each country regarding the nature and scope of its partnership with the EU.
To put the revised ENP into practice, the EU and Egypt have engaged in a joint definition of the priorities, based on shared interests, for their partnership in the years ahead. The total amount of ongoing EU assistance to Egypt channelled through the bilateral envelope amounts to nearly €1.1 billion. All EU assistance to Egypt is provided in the form of grants. For the period 2014-2020, the new European Neighbourhood Instrument (ENI) is the main financial instrument for EU cooperation with Egypt.
EU-Egypt R&I cooperation is also provided by the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) which financed 2 subsequent phases of a bi-lateral Research, Development and Innovation Programme (RDI) with a total EU Commitment of €31 Million.
Egypt Cooperation with EU Member States
Egypt has S&T Agreements with a number of EU Member States. Many varied activities, such as collaborative research projects, joint funding, mobility schemes and networking, take place within the framework of such agreements. In recent years, European and Egyptian scientists have been increasingly working together in the context of bilateral projects or multilateral research programmes.
More information: Cooperation between Egypt and EU Member States (2015)
FP7 statistics (2007-2013)
Egypt has been one of the most active Southern Mediterranean participants in the EU's Framework Programme 7 for R&I (2007-2013). 129 participants from Egypt took part in 101 projects. The EC contribution to the overall budget of these projects reached around € 266 Million, whereas the contribution to the Egyptian participants was around € 15 Million.
H2020 statistics (From 2014 to February 2016)
Egypt remains one of the most active Southern Mediterranean participants in Horizon 2020, the EU's Framework programme for R&I, running from 2014-2020. Up to February 2016, Egyptian entities have submitted 143 proposals and 20 contracts are signed or under preparation. The Egyptian participants have been most active in the "societal challenges pillar" as well as Marie Curie Actions and international cooperation actions under H2020.
SHERACA PLUS (2013-2016)
"Shaping Egypt’s association to the European Research Area and Cooperation Action Plus" aims to support the policy dialogue and contribute to the definition and implementation of joint strategic agendas for research, development and innovation between the European Union and Egypt.
- EU delegation to Egypt
- Horizon 2020
- Related projects
- EU research projects: Success stories with partners from Egypt
- European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI)
- The Research Development and Innovation (RDI) Programme
- ShERACA project
- Academy of Scientific Research and Technology
- Science and Technology Development Fund (STDF)
- Industrial Modernisation Centre
DG Research and Innovation
Unit RTD C3 - European Neighbourhood, Africa and the Gulf
Tel:(+32) 229 81357
Research and Innovation officer
Nile City Towers, North Tower, 10th floor,
2005C Corniche EL Nil,
Ramlet Boulaq, Cairo, Egypt
Tel: (+202) 2461 9860 Ext. 125
Fax:(+202) 2461 9884