The Egyptian partner Academy of Scientific Research and Technology and its key role in supporting strategies for NEXUS stakeholders' ecosystem in NEX-LABS

Image courtesy ASRT website

In this issue of "Behind the scene", Mrs Salma Essawi Deputy Director at Research & Innovation Management Department presents the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) and its role in defining the stakeholders' ecosystem guidelines for effective implementation of Water, Energy and Food (WEF) NEXUS approach in the Mediterranean.

Salma, tell us more about ASRT and its activities

ASRT serve as Egypt’s national house of expertise, and national think tank in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), concerned with STI strategic planning, preparing technological road maps and future studies, recognize excellence in science, benchmarking of research institutions, and help in raising scientific awareness.

ASRT Provides consultations to the government and decision-makers on issues related to science and technology in Egypt and around the world. The main public supporter of Innovation, Entrepreneurship, IPR, Technological Incubators and Technology transfer.

What is your role in ASRT?

I am currently the Deputy director research and innovation management department, taking care of our international projects specially with European Union. I am also the coordinator of nationally funded project JESOR Development program, a multipurpose program by allowing mechanisms for public or private organizations in Egypt to benefit from the expertise of Egyptian Expatriates and for Egyptian Experts abroad to visualize local challenges and requests for development.

What is your background and how does that background contribute to NEX-LABS?

I am currently a program coordinator at the Research and Innovation Management Unit at ASRT. The program supports the local development projects of Egyptian expatriates in Egypt and I am also responsible for the establishment and maintaining of multilateral collaborations in Science and Technology. I am from a business background and I have a diploma in project management with several years of experience in managing EU Programs and a master’s degree in Technology Management. Before joining the Academy, I served as a regional manager of business development at several multinational companies in Doha and Dubai.
My Master’s degree in the domain of management of technology has a strong impact on NEX-LABS project activities which highly effects the monitoring and evaluation processes.

What is your role in the NEX-LABS project, what are you currently working on?

ASRT is the leader of Work Package 3 which is setting the scene for the whole project as a landscape analysis for the WEF and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Ecosystems within Egypt and partner countries. It is responsible also of stakeholders analysis and scenarios building for implementation of supporting strategies for NEXUS stakeholders' ecosystem. Among the activities that ASRT is performing within NEX-LABS there are: the creation of physical and virtual environments to match NEXUS innovation demand and offer and the Cross Border WEF Nexus Driven Open Living Labs Creation.

We are currently working on writing the guidelines for the scenarios building activity. Moreover,  ASRT is one of the mentors and trainers of the Technology Transfer Offices training.

What are your expectations in the NEX-LABS project? What do you think will have major impact for the Mediterranean community?

All the partners and myself have a high expectations from NEX-LABS Project. The representation of regional Living labs and supporting hubs will have a significant role within partners countries ecosystems specially with the detailed activities and the experience that some of the partners have on living labs concept. I personally believe it will lead us to more effective well connected ecosystems.

What are your interests outside the project and your work? 

I like reading very much, watching movies and playing CLUEDO with my kids :)