CAIRO—The U.S. and Egypt reaffirmed their commitment to scientific cooperation today, as both countries intend to award $8 million in grants for joint research, junior scientist exchanges, and innovation programs. Opening the annual board meeting of American and Egyptian technical agencies along with Minister of Scientific Research Nadia Zachary, USAID Mission Director Walter North underscored the importance of collaborative research and innovation to promote economic growth.
“For over 15 years, the U.S.-Egypt Joint Fund has helped scientists tackle some of the world’s toughest development challenges,” said Walter North. “Egyptian and American researchers are working together to harness renewable energy, increase crop yields, and treat dangerous tropical diseases. Their work brings tremendous benefits, and builds bridges between our professional communities.”
Last fall, the U.S. and Egypt extended their bilateral science and technology cooperation agreement through 2015. This agreement establishes a Joint Board to promote knowledge exchange, collaborative research, and innovation, as well as a Joint Fund. In fiscal year 2010, the U.S. and Egypt each committed $4 million for a total joint fund of $8 million. This supported 25 collaborative research projects (funded for a total of $6.2 million) and 34 junior scientist exchanges (28 Egyptian scientists & 6 US scientists). They also set aside $1.2 million to establish a new science innovation program. Both sides plan to continue their support for the Fund at the same level for fiscal year 2011.
“This year, we are also focusing more on innovation, considering how we can harness the creative energy of Egyptian and American scientists to bring solutions to market,” said North. “We are especially interested in how science can drive economic growth, and look forward to exploring these ideas further with our Egyptian partners.”
The U.S.–Egypt Joint Board for Science and Technology Cooperation was established in 1995 and meets annually, alternating between countries. Participating agencies include the Department of State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Agriculture, the National Institute of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Department of Energy, and the U.S. Geological Survey. The Ministry of Scientific Research leads Egypt’s delegation.