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CAIRO - 18 June 2020: President Abdel Fattah El Fattah El Sisi has been attaching special significance to scientists and researchers since assuming post in June 2014, believing that the biggest challenge facing the country is building knowledge economy based on education and scientific research.
President Sisi’s support to science and scientists has started six years ago when he adopted a number of initiatives to encourage them, with the state placing the Science Day high on its agenda.
In December 2014, president Sisi honored winners of the State Awards and launched the national initiative: “Towards building an Egyptian society that learns, thinks and innovates” along with the “Knowledge Bank” project.
After a three year-hiatus, celebrations of the Science Day was revived in 2017 when president Sisi honored winners of State Awards along with top-notch researchers and school and university students.
The last Science Day celebration was held in 2019 to underscore the leadership’s keenness on supporting science, scientists and university professors.
In a bid to remove hindrances that have been facing the country’s education sector before 2014, the government expenditure in this vital sector has witnessed a major leap under the leadership of Sisi by almost doubling the budget of scientific research and development to EGP 23.6 billion in the academic year 2018-2019.
Egypt was ranked the world’s 11th and Africa’s 1st in scientific publications in the field of seawater desalination in 2019 and came in the 25th place in nanotechnology and in the 3rd place in Africa in climate-smart agriculture.
In the academic year 2018-2019, the number of published scientific researches had reached 23,507, while the number of patents hit 750 in 2019, against 690 patents in 2018, with an increase of 8.7 percent.
The number of researchers conducting studies in different sectors recorded 138,500 between 2019-2018. The percentage of researches conducted in cooperation with other countries has increased by 52.3 percent in the same period as well.
Over the past six years, Egypt has witnessed several achievements in its research field thanks to cooperation and coordination among the state’s bodies concerned, a matter which has helped to address social and industrial challenges, improve manufacturing competitiveness and maximize natural and economic resources.
The launch of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy 2030 is one of the scientific achievements that the country has made with the aim to enhance its technology and contribute to economic and social development.
With the aim of supporting innovation and linking scientific research with the industry, TARIEIC, the first governmental Egyptian incubator specialized in the electronic field was launched to contribute to the development of an innovation culture for the benefit of the Egyptian electronic industry, with a focus on the research areas of strategic goals and objectives of the 2030 Strategic Plan such as renewable energy, smart sensors and environmental challenges.
The number of technological incubators has reached 18 nationwide, housing 90 startups with a total cost of EGP 43.7 million. The number of companies that have finished their incubation period and are now operating in the market has so far hit 63.
A number of initiatives have been introduced to back researchers - within the framework of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy 2030 - including Cairo International Innovation Exhibition and Cairo Innovates program to sponsor scientific talented youths as well as the “Egyptian Science” month that comprised 250 technological events in various domains.
The state’s support to scientific research was culminated in accrediting the Egyptian Patent Office (EGPO) by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) till the year 2027.
Upon directives of president Sisi to attach special importance to children, the Children's University National program was launched to encourage and support the creative talents of children.
The program gives children, aged between 9-10 years, first hand information about dealing with university professors and scientists as well as training them on critical thinking through cooperation with 36 public and private universities.
The electronics field has been high on the agenda of president Sisi during the past six years as he championed the establishment of the electronics science city at the Electronics Research Institute (ERI). The EGP 1.4 billion city is set to be finalized in 2023.
As for space technology, the Ministry of Higher Education has adopted a plan to manufacture and assemble different sizes of satellites under the supervision of research institutes and centers as well as Egyptian universities. In this aspect, the Egyptian Space Agency was established as an economic public authority under law no. 3/2018.
Later on, the EgyptSat-A was kicked off in February 2019 from Russia’s Baikonur 31/6 site to promote the state’s scientific research, remote sensing technologies as well as sustainable development in the fields of agriculture, mining, urban planning and environment. The satellite shall, also, serve in monitoring desertification, movement of sand dunes, and floods.
Also, three cube-satellites were launched and designed in Egypt without seeking foreign know-how.
Egypt was named as the host country of the African Space Agency, in a clear proof of its ability to utilize the capabilities of the agency in serving the continent in the domain of remote sensing technologies and space science along with giving impetus to the development efforts in line with Africa’s agenda 2063.
As for the legislative domain, six laws were issued to support the state’s scientific research system.
Egypt hosted for the first time ever the first edition of the Global Forum for Higher Education and Scientific Research in 2019, thanks to president Sisi’s constant support to science, technology, and scientific research.