20 May 2012
ITIDA Signs Projects Funding Contracts of the 10th Round of ITAC

ITIDA Agrees to Fund ITEA Projects through a New Program of ITAC Initiative

Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) has held a conference to sign funding contracts for the projects of the 10th round of Information Technology Academic Collaboration Initiative (ITAC) programs, at its premises at Smart Village.

In the frame of ITAC initiative, ITIDA funds a number of projects on basis of competitiveness to develop the Egyptian ICT industry. This is achieved through promoting research cooperation among researchers in universities, research centers and IT companies.

In the context of the 10th round of the initiative, companies and research bodies submitted 44 joint research proposals. Specialized technical arbitrators, chosen by a steering and follow-up committee were in charge of the evaluation of these proposals.

According to the evaluation of the arbitrators, the committee categorized the projects. Projects with grade ‘good’ or above were selected to give presentations before the arbitrators and members of the steering committee, at ITIDA’s premises.

Based on the assessment of the presentations, the steering committee selected the five best projects.
ITIDA CEO, Mr. Yasser El Kady states that ITAC program is one of the prominent projects sponsored by the Agency, to support cooperation and networking among research and academic organizations as well as business fields.

In the coming few years, ITAC program will witness a remarkable development represented in creating new business models which aims at encouraging the largest number of companies to maximize revenues, Mr. El Kady adds.

Mr. El Kady also refers to the visit of the Egyptian delegation to Finland presided by Dr. Mohamed Salem, minister of Communications and Information Technology, where they visited research institutions such as Finpro based on the same model of the ITAC program.

Moreover, these institutions allocate huge budgets, above 4.5 billion dollars, and contribute largely in the graduation of specialized skillful calibers in the business field, thus qualify them to work at international companies such as Nokia, Mr. El Kady continues.

He adds that numerous countries, most important of which is Singapore, primarily depend in their economic growth on small and medium enterprises, as well as allocating big budgets for research and development to link scientific research to society needs.

Mr. El Kady asserts the necessity of integrating investment, research and optimum utilization of human capacities.

The high committee of steering, following up on the initiative, has approved the proposal presented by Professor Hesham Arafat at the Faculty of Engineering-Mansoura University, with the collaboration of Cloud Niners Information System Company.

This project is the only one that applies a unique technology and has the patent of “smart lab consultant”, is to produce a hypothetical lab devised on Cloud-Based Virtual Labs System.

The project supports users, evaluates their progress continuously and assists and directs them throughout the training in a profitable environment. The project also comprises the possibility of reviewing the site content and giving presentations to educational units.

The committee has approved also the project of Dr. Ahmed Hazem El-Mahdy in cooperation with VIMOV Software Development Company. The project produces a framework of software to recognize faces on mobile phones via Real-Time Facial Recognition Framework technique on Mobile Phones using embedded GPUs.

This project aims at enabling the use of alternative processing units of the main processor for software developers. This is accomplished by developing an integrated software framework for the applications that recognize faces requiring high-performance and complexity. Such these programs are of great importance due to the fact that they open the door for developing other numerous kinds of applications.

The project, the first of its kind, permits mainly easy data transfer between various mobile phones, and allows instant recognition of faces on mobile phones with no need for the use of physical or low power devices.

In the same context, ITIDA has approved the launching of a new program integral to ITAC initiative. This also comes upon the decision of ITIDA’s board of directors pertaining to approving funds for the Egyptian participation of companies, universities and Egyptian research bodies, in research cooperation projects, which has been accomplished in the framework of ITEA program and was granted ITEA2 card.

The program provides funding for the Egyptian participation of companies, universities and the Egyptian research bodies to join international coalitions through ITEA program, under the condition of accepting projects offered by ITEA.

The committee has also endorsed Web of Objects (WoO) project presented by the Egyptian coalition. This coalition comprises Smart Technology Enterprise (Smartec), Cairo University and National Electronic Manufacturers Association Company (NEMA).

NEMA, which is considered the coordinator of the project, targets producing a simplified system for the process of devising and operating WoO. The project is a joint effort of the coalition to promote various technologies, the systems of which are built on intense software and integrated devices.

They are then transferred into sustainable business environment to serve the mechanisms of business buildings. The purpose is to simplify the process of devising, operating, maintaining these systems, thus spread commercially and achieve significant success in the Egyptian Market.

ITIDA is expected to sign the contracts of the 3 remaining projects of the 10th round of the initiative in the near future, as well as signing another project in the framework of ITIDA’s program.

ITIDA has identified the research areas of the proposals it approves and funds. These areas are exclusively about research, and are divided into 2 sections.

The first section encompasses 5 strategic research areas, which presently concern the Egyptian society. They include research on cyber security, as well as ICT applications in the fields of security, transport, health and agriculture.

As for the second section, it comprises 7 research areas that represent latest technologies, research interests and trends in the global market of ICT. They consist of mobile application and computing, cloud computing, contextual and social analytics/experience, internet of things and ubiquitous computing.

This current session is the last one regarding the submission of research proposals related to environment-friendly technology and digital content.

Since its launch in 2006 and until 2012, the initiative has funded numerous joint research projects among companies, universities and research organizations. The number of projects, financed by the initiative in the program of Product Development Project (PDP) has mounted to 22, with 24 projects in the program of Advanced Research Projects (ARP), and 4 projects were granted fellowship.

The total number of projects is 50, out of 447 proposals submitted by more than 140 companies and 33 universities and research centers. The committee, designated by ITIDA, studies the submitted proposals to select the best depending on prioritization and market needs.

The initiative is primarily based on promoting cooperation among those involved in IT industry, universities, and research and development centers “R&D”. This is achieved through creating a link between scientific research and IT industry on one side and market needs on the other. This adds value to companies working in the field of IT, universities, researchers and the entire Egyptian IT community.

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