Ministry of Communications and Information Technology
18 September 2008
IBM CEO Visits Egypt

Egypt's Premier Witnesses Partnership Initiatives by Egyptian Government and IBM to Develop Scientific Research, University Curricula and IT Exports

Tarek Kamel: In partnership with IBM – First of its kind Nanotechnology Center in Egypt and North Africa

Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM Chairman, President and CEO, visited Egypt to discuss IBM's new investments materialized in initiatives focused on scientific research, university curricula and information technology exports.

Mr. Palmisano also met with Prime Minister Dr. Ahmed Nazif to discuss means of possible cooperation between the Government of Egypt and IBM in the various sectors of the economy.

Following the discussions Egypt's Premier witnessed the signing of two cooperation agreements between the Government and IBM to establish a nanotechnology research center, develop a services science university curricula and the launch of a Global Service Delivery Center based in Egypt.

Dr. Tarek Kamel, Minister of Communications and Information Technology and Dr. Hani Helal, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research witnessed the signing ceremony.

Dr. Kamel commended such partnership with IBM in the various initiatives stressing that this is a reflection of the interest of multinationals working in ICT to invest and expand their operations in Egypt to serve their clients in the Middle East and Europe from Egypt.

HE asserted that key attractive factors for investors are political stability, economic growth, geographic location and availability of highly qualified and trained human capacities in the field of ICTs. Minister Kamel stressed that Egypt will be keen to provide incentives necessary to empower IBM's initiatives. 

Highlighting the Nanotechnology center, Kamel added that "Nanotechnology is a new and exciting field for innovation, impacting every industry and has been identified as the way to position Egypt to become part of the next generation technological revolution."

On the occasion of his first visit to Egypt and the first ever for an IBM CEO to Egypt as well, Mr. Palmisano said that Egypt faces a major opportunity, "the seat of one of the world’s oldest civilizations is now an emerging player onto the world stage of a new, globalized economy."

 Mr. Palmisano added, "I am optimistic about its future because of the way it is nurturing its talent, its human resources and its technical potential. These initiatives announced today mark IBM’s deep commitment to strengthening that process of growth and opportunity and extending the long and highly successful partnerships we have enjoyed in Egypt."

As part of Egypt's plans to develop the science and technology system and environment which is empowered by the Supreme Council for Sciences and Technology, headed by Prime Minister Ahmed
Nazif, those initiatives aim to support:
An agreement to establish Egypt's first Nanotechnology Center (and first in North Africa as well)
Partners in this initiative are Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) representing the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Science and Technological Development Fund representing the Ministry of Higher Education and IBM. The Center aims to serve three main purposes educational, research and industrial.

The three-year agreement starts by January 2009 with joint investments in the range of US$30m. Egyptian and IBM expert scientists and engineers will work side-by-side on advanced nanoscience and nanotechnology programs.

The work will be coordinated with the efforts of IBM Research labs in Zurich, Switzerland; Almaden, California; and Yorktown Heights, New York. The center will be equipped with leading-edge equipment and lab facilities.

Partners in the Center are Nile University, Cairo University and IBM. Main fields of research within the coming period will be in the areas of simulation and modeling software, alternative energy sources (thin film silicon photovoltaics), energy recovery for desalination.

Signatories to the agreement were Dr. Hazem Abdel Azim, The CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), Dr. Ali El Shafie, Executive Director of the Sciences and Technological Development Fund and Eng. Amr Ghoneim, General Manager of IBM Egypt.

An agreement for training and human recourses development Services Science, Management & Engineering (SSME)

The agreement aims to establish an IBM Academy to introduce SSME into the Egyptian Universities' curricula. This is in recognition of the increased importance of services-led economy.

SSME is a new academic discipline designed to develop the skills required in an increasingly services-based global economy.

It brings together ongoing work in computer science, operations research, industrial engineering, business strategy, management sciences, social and cognitive sciences, and legal sciences.

Dr. Salwa El Gharib Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Universities and Dr. Hazem Abdelazim, Executive Director of ITIDA, signed the agreement on behalf of the Egyptian Government; Eng. Amr Ghoneim, General Manager, IBM Egypt singed on behalf of IBM.

"The set-up of the nanotechnology center and the introduction of SSME by Egypt and IBM are key to the implementation of Egypt's science and technology strategy that will lead to the development of a knowledge economy,” said Dr. Hany Helal, Minister of Higher Education and State Minister of Scientific Research. 

"The Government of Egypt's profound commitment to investing wisely in the development of highly skilled, capable young people to take their place in competitive global markets is reflected in our work with IBM to develop the most innovative and relevant learning programs for our students," he added.

The establishment of a new IBM Egypt Global Delivery Center

IBM's first such center in the region, initially employs 100 professionals and is expected to grow to as many as 1,000 within the next few years.

It provides a full range of business consulting, cross-industry expertise, application development and maintenance, software testing and embedded software development services to IBM customers in the region. This center is expected contribute to Egypt's drive to export more IT services.

In addition to clients in the region, the delivery center serves clients in France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the US. IBM's choice to establish this center in Egypt comes in recognition of the country's strength in the field of outsourcing.

Geographical location, government incentives and abundance of talent pool are key factors contributing to Egypt's successful experience in this industry.

Moreover, Egypt is ranked as one of the top twelve countries in the field according to expert reports issued by AT Kearney and McKinsey.

IBM has been operating in Egypt since 1954 and has based technology development operations in the country for almost 25 years. The IBM Cairo Technology Center Development currently employs more than 500 software developers, architects and professionals.

Other meetings with key Egyptian officials took place during Mr. Palmisano short visit to the Smart Village, they included meetings with Minister of Finance, Minister of Health and Population, and Minister of State for Administrative Development.

About Nanotechnology
Nanotechnology is the field of applied science focused on the reliable and repeatable design and control of the structure of very small objects.

The length scales range from the atomic to the macroscopic -- generally, from one to 100 nanometers.  A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter -- roughly 100,000 times thinner than a human hair.

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