Within the framework of cooperation between Alexandria University and the Fulbright Commission, Professor Dr. Abdelaziz Konsowa, President of Alexandria University, received this morning, Saturday the 3rd of December, Dr. Terik Tidwell, Executive Director of the Smith Tech-Innovation Center at the Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA and Director of the STEM Innovation Initiative, to discuss ways of cooperation between the two sides in various fields. The meeting was attended by Dr. Yasser Refaat, Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Walaa Sheta, CEO of the Science and Technological Development Support Fund, vice-presidents of the university, vice-deans, as well as officials of the Project Management Unit at Alexandria University, and industrialists.
In his speech, Dr. Abdelaziz Konsowa stressed that this meeting is within the framework of transferring global experience in establishing a technology park at Alexandria University to promote the establishment of a knowledge economy, and a good opportunity to discuss ways to enhance cooperation and benefit from the experience of Dr. Tidwell in the field of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship at the university. He highlighted Alexandria University's strategy towards integration between the scientific research outputs it owns and carries out, with the requirements of industry and the knowledge economy, to achieve competitiveness in economic development in line with the goals and vision of Egypt 2030. Dr. Konsowa confirmed that the biggest challenge for the university is how to market this promising scientific research and technology by identifying suitable markets, attracting industry partners, international companies, and entrepreneurs who can continue developing and manufacturing products, and identifying consumer needs, especially since Alexandria is located in an industrial community that represents 44% of the Egyptian industry, in which the gas, oil and petrochemical industries represent 58% of the national industry.
Dr. Konsowa referred to the technology park at Alexandria University, established with the aim to localize and transfer technology and knowledge rights, form partnerships with prestigious international institutions and companies, and invest time and efforts to transform intellectual property into marketable products, indicating that the technology park at the university is equipped with the necessary infrastructure to support innovations and link them to the industry, to establish technological start-ups and incubators based on the scientific research outputs of Alexandria University and its partners, as well as spreading the culture of entrepreneurship and encouraging students to establish their start-up companies instead of waiting for traditional jobs.
While Dr. Terik Tidwell expressed his pleasure to cooperate with the pioneering University of Alexandria, noting that it has a strong infrastructure through the technology park, which qualifies it to have a great opportunity to invest in minds and transfer and localize technology, in addition to Egypt’s distinguished safe climate that contributes to the support and localization of technology.
It is worth noting that Alexandria University, in cooperation with the Fulbright Commission, will hold over the next two days a workshop entitled "Promoting the Culture of Innovation and Technology Transfer at Alexandria University" in the presence of Dr. Terik Tidwell and the university faculty members, to discuss different ideas on how to market scientific research, and link it to industry needs.