USAID Funded Center of Excellence Project in Egypt

Background

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was awarded a five-year 90 Million US$ USAID-funded project to establish the Centers of Excellence in partnership with Egyptian universities under the auspices of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.  The project supports three leading universities in Egypt in partnerships with American universities to create Centers of Excellence in energy, water, and agriculture. Such partnership will help forge relationships between Egyptian and American researchers and experts, and drive research and innovation in sectors that are key to Egypt's future economic growth. The three partnerships will be the following:

  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology will partner with Ain Shams University to establish a Center of Excellence in Energy;
  • Cornell University in New York will partner with Cairo University to create a Center of Excellence in Agriculture; and
  • The American University in Cairo will partner with Alexandria University to develop a Center of Excellence in Water.

Each Center of Excellence will use applied research to drive innovation and competitiveness in the public and private sectors, strengthen Egyptian Government policy to stimulate economic growth, and contribute solutions to Egypt's development challenges. The Centers of Excellence will align with the current needs of Egypt's commercial, academic, and public sectors by solving local problems, support competitiveness and economic growth in the key agriculture, water and energy sectors and leading to lower unemployment and improved performance in the private and public sector. The Center of Excellence program aims to strengthen the capacity of Egyptian public universities to respond to changing public and private sector needs for applied research and skilled graduates in the sectors of agriculture, water and energy.

Objectives

  1. Strengthen the capacity of universities to deliver relevant, innovative, and commercialized research to meet the needs of the public and private sectors.
  2. Improve the relevance and quality of curricula and strengthened use of effective teaching methods.
  3. Increase access for talented yet economically disadvantaged students to Egyptian public universities in the disciplines of agriculture, water, and energy.
  4. Create collaboration between the university and stakeholders in public and private sectors supporting linkages between supply and demand for research, policy engagement and skilled graduates.

Expected outcomes

  • Updating curricula as well as reforming teaching and other areas necessary to make university education and research more relevant to the needs of industry and government.
  • Establishing strong undergraduate level scholarships for financially needy students as well as graduate level and exchange programs, especially for women and persons with disabilities.
  • Networking activities related to agriculture, water and energy sectors.
  • Strengthening university capacity to deliver quality applied and commercialized research that is innovative and responds to Egypt’s development challenges.
  • Enhancing the responsiveness of university research and graduates’ skills to the needs of the public and private sector.
  • Uncover innovations that may be suitable for commercialization.

To read more about the project Scope of Work in details, you may refer to the project Notice of Funding Opportunity (NFO) to explore it more

28th March 2019
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