Water-Way: AUC, Alexandria University Partner in Consortium to Launch Center of Excellence in Water

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AUC and Alexandria University are partnering to establish a USAID-funded Center of Excellence in Water. AUC, MIT and Cornell are the American universities selected to launch Centers of Excellence in Egypt,

AUC and Alexandria University are partnering to establish a Center of Excellence in Water -- the Alexandria Water Resilience Center of Excellence, within a consortium of four other American universities: Washington State, Utah State, Temple and California, Santa Cruz; four other Egyptian Universities: Aswan, Beni Suef , Zagazig and Ain Shams; a number of U.S. and Egyptian companies; and several public entities in Egypt, including the National Water Research Center,  National Research Center, Desert Research Center, and Central Metallurgical Research and Development Institute. The projects’ main stakeholders in Egypt are the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation and the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

The Alexandria Water Resilience Center of Excellence will focus on three main components: education, research and exchange. This includes graduate and undergraduate courses, workshops and training programs; research grants and scholarship funding for applied research on water; and exchange programs between the U.S. universities and AUC, with more than 350 student participants. The center will focus on catalyzing long-term sustainable change in the sector by improving Egypt’s water resource management and developing effective policies to combat water challenges, aiding the government in its Vision 2030 to achieve sustainable development and improve quality of life.

"It is very important for AUC to lead this initiative. It is a golden opportunity to enhance higher education and research on this very important area in Egypt" explained Yasser Elshayeb, professor in the Department of Petroleum and Energy Engineering and chief of party of the Center of Excellence at AUC. "This will exemplify how AUC is an agent of development and positive change, especially because one of the greatest issues Egypt faces right now is water."

The initiative aims to reach more than 500 students, faculty members and researchers, with the goal of long-term sustainability within government systems. The project will take five years to implement. According to Elshayeb, the center will be physically set up by the end of the year.

"AUC winning such a magnificent project is as remarkable as it is exemplary to AUC’s mission in making momentous contributions to Egypt and the wider international community through its consequential impact on Egypt’s economic development and future economic growth," said Dina Adly, associate provost in the Office of Sponsored Programs. "Moreover, the Center of Excellence in Water will align with our country's current needs by generating a cadre of professionals who will afford pioneering technical knowledge and global perspectives on the sustainability of the generations to come in the project’s efforts to reform and manage Egypt's governmental framework and industry."

About Egypt's Centers of Excellence

AUC, Cornell University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are the American universities selected to launch three Centers of Excellence in Egypt, fostering research, scholarships and education innovation in water, agriculture and energy. The three centers, worth a total of $90 million, are funded by USAID and will be conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

The Centers of Excellence will increase the capacity of Egypt’s higher education institutions and create public-private research links in agriculture, water and energy. They will also provide solutions to the country’s development challenges by solving local problems and driving innovation.

As Mark Green, administrator for USAID, noted during his inauguration of the three centers in Egypt, “These Centers of Excellence will not only help facilitate solutions to some of Egypt’s most pressing agriculture, energy and water challenges but also position the country to be a regional and global leader in the knowledge economy. Ideas generated through collaboration at these Centers of Excellence may be the spark that ignites the next big technology development, spurring new industries and prosperity all across Egypt."