The Center of Excellence for Water MOU Signing
AUC and Alexandria University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on September 22 along with the Holding Company for Water and Wastewater, represented General Manager Mohamed Ismail; Sierra Engineering and Contracting, represented by founder and Managing Director Sherif Elashram; and Demerdash sister companies Engazaat for Development, Demerdash Group and IBSAR, all represented by Managing Partner Muhammad El Demerdash.
Also in attendance of the event were Yasser ElShayeb, COP of the Center of Excellence for Water, and Alaa-Eldin Adris, associate provost for research, innovation and creativity at AUC.
“The time is perfect to foster collaborative work on a challenge of water security that is facing Egypt, the region and the world,” Adris said. “The agreement we are signing today makes it possible to integrate the academia-generated science and knowledge with the practical experience and capabilities of the industry represented by its private sector. The output of this cooperation in the years to come could change the landscape of water resources handling and infrastructure at a national and regional level.”
The MOU aims to provide mutual assistance in the areas of research, education and exchange in support of the success and sustainability of the Center of Excellence for Water and to promote effective water resources management for the benefit of Egypt. Additionally, the MOU institutionalizes the relationships between different parties and identifies roles and responsibilities of each party within the framework of the USAID Cooperative Agreement awarded to AUC for the establishment of the Center of Excellence for Water at Alexandria University.
“Signing MOUs with the private sector in the field of water is unprecedented, as it opens the door for the involvement of the private sector in the activities of the Center of Excellence for water," ElShayeb said. "Hence, we are opening the door for more 'demand driven' applied research targeting real water challenges, aligning educational curriculum with market needs and allowing more internship/ scholarship opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students.”
"Amid the current paradoxical water scarcity and food security challenges, and as a Renewable Energy and Water Infrastructure Developer, we at Engazaat aspire for an efficient private sector partnership with Center of Excellence for Water that aims at democratizing Sustainable Agriculture to enable Egyptian farmers at the base of the Pyramid upgrade 7,000 years of farming Know-how to version 2.0," El Dermerdash said.
"We have recently been trying to help Egyptian utility companies adopt new technologies that would enable them to efficiently manage their water networks," Elashram said. "We are working on developing a comprehensive water network management system in partnership with leading International technology providers, suppliers and consultants in this field. Accordingly, we have been investing heavily in research and development in several areas these past couple of years.