14 September 2021
Higher Education, ICT Ministers Witness Signing Two Agreements between MCIT, Ain Shams, Mansoura Universities


The Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar and the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat attended, on Monday via videoconference, the signing ceremony of two cooperation agreements between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Ain Shams and Mansoura Universities.

The aim is to carry out joint applied research projects to develop innovative solutions in different fields, capitalizing on ICTs. President of Ain Shams University Mahmoud El-Matini and President of Mansoura University Ashraf Abdel Basset attended the signing ceremony.

The two agreements target enhancing technical cooperation, harnessing capabilities, and exchanging experiences between MCIT Applied Innovation Center (AIC) and the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at Ain Shams and Mansoura Universities. The aim is to employ the latest technologies to develop innovative solutions to tackle major issues in vital areas.

The parties to the agreement will carry out a joint applied research project to serve people with diabetes through creating a system to early detect diabetic retinopathy capitalizing on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in fundus imaging and analysis.

The Minister of Higher Education stressed the importance of such agreements in implementing joint projects using advanced technologies to develop solutions to societal challenges, especially in healthcare. He praised the productive cooperation with MCIT in different areas, especially digital transformation and modern technologies. Abdel Ghaffar added that his ministry looks forward to ink more agreements that support sustainable development, Egypt's Vision 2030, the healthcare sector, and university hospitals in Egypt.

For his part, the ICT Minister highlighted that the cooperation between the AIC and the two universities to employ AI in detecting diabetic retinopathy comes within the productive cooperation between MCIT and the Ministry of Higher Education. The project represents a new area of cooperation: health care, and will benefit many citizens, Talaat added.
For over a year, the AIC has employed AI to develop a solution for the early detection of diabetic retinopathy, said Talaat, pointing out the significance of collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education and university hospitals to start running a pilot system and introduce it nationwide.

The President of Ain Shams University praised the ongoing cooperation with MCIT, especially in infrastructure and university hospitals automation. The new agreement culminates the partnership between the two sides, he added. El-Matini said that the cooperation would cover other areas, including healthcare and others. He invited the attendees to join the inauguration ceremony of Ain Shams University’s Innovation Hub on October 30. Sponsored by the Central Bank of Egypt (CEB), the Hub is an edifice modeled on the world’s largest innovation centers, El-Matini added.

Furthermore, the President of Mansoura University underlined that the agreement is within the cooperation between the AI Center at Mansoura University and MCIT. The aim is to implement applied research projects capitalizing on the latest digital technologies to develop innovative solutions to help patients.

Abdel Basset said that the project is part of introducing the Fourth Generation (4G) technology in Egyptian universities and adopting the Fourth Industrial Revolution that utilizes data analysis to develop innovative solutions. He added that Mansoura University established an AI Center of Excellence (CoE) in 2020, in line with the National AI Strategy, crafted by MCIT and the Ministry of Higher Education.

AIC Head Ahmed Tantawy highlighted that the Center’s mandate is to connect scientific research with practical application to serve citizens and the country. He pointed out that the AIC has established partnerships with major universities and academic and research institutions to implement projects that employ the latest global technologies to develop solutions to the societal challenges in Egypt.

The agreements were signed by Deputy ICT Minister for Infrastructure Raafat Hindy, President of Ain Shams University Mahmoud El-Matini, and President of Mansoura University Ashraf Abdel Basset. The signing ceremony was attended by Assistant Minister of Higher Education for Digital Transformation Hesham Farouk, Director of the National Telecommunication Institute (NTI) Iman Ashour, Advisor to the ICT Minister for Technology Innovation, Electronics Industry and Training Hossam Osman, and Advisor to the ICT Minister for Research and Development Noha Adly.

From Ain Shams University, the ceremony was attended by Dean of the Faculty of Engineering Omar Al-Husseini, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Medicine for Graduate Studies and Research Osama Mansour, General Supervisor of the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Diaa Abdel Maguid, Director of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center Mohamed El-Behairy, and Professor of Diabetes and Endocrinology Raef Malak Botros.

It is worth mentioning that MCIT established the AIC to further the adoption of modern ICTs such as AI, High-Performance Computing (HPC), blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), big data, data analysis, robotics, Fifth Generation (5G) networks and others. The Center employs such technologies to develop solutions to societal challenges. The AIC objective is to develop human capital by enabling young people to implement projects focused on adopting such solutions while creating an enabling environment for the growth of innovative start-ups.

The Center collaborated with Alexandria University to carry out an applied research project that involved launching a campaign for the early detection of diabetic retinopathy capitalizing on AI in Alexandria. The AIC is also working on enhancing its capabilities and cooperating with more esteemed research institutes.

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