In Egypt

In Egypt

The term "sustainable agriculture" has gained significant momentum. This is because sustainable agriculture offers innovative and economically viable opportunities for farmers, consumers, policymakersand many others in the food production cycle. On top of that, new technological innovations also changed conventional agricultural production. Challenges and limitations shall be discussed by high calibre experts from Germany and Egypt in order to identify new ways of academic cooperation.
Agriculture has changed dramatically in the past decades, besides others due to the ever growing increase of the population number. The production of food and fibre crops and animal products has increased markedly due to new farming technologies, including new high-yield varieties of crops, mechanisation, and the increased application of pesticides and fertilisers. Government policies have also encouraged farmers to maximise production. These changes have allowed fewer farmers to produce the majority of the world’s agricultural crops. Although these changes have had many positive effects and reduced many risks in farming, there have unfortunately also been some significant costs.
These include: the clearing of native vegetation, soil erosion, the decline in soil fertility, groundwater contamination, increasing costs of production and declining returns on family farms, and the closing of services in rural communities.
The goal of the conference was to impart and deepen the understanding of the complexity of the agricultural system through three different working groups. Through an interdisciplinary approach, as is represented by the DWZ’s network, complex interrelations were emphasized and discussed.


Keynote : The Role of Policies for Food and Nutrition Security in MENA and Egypt

Dr. Clemens Breisinger, International Food Policy Research Institute

Keynote: Innovations for Sustainable Agriculture in Arid Region

Hany El Kateb, Member of the Presidential Advisory Council of Scientists and Experts, Egypt Senior Scientist at the Technische Universitaet München)

Session 1: Meeting Tomorrows Demands: Challenges in the Transition from Conventional to Sustainable Agriculture

Chair: Prof. Dr. Michael Frei, University of Bonn

·         Amr Bassiouny, Managing Director, Egyptian Hydrofarms: „From Rooftops to Robotics: Egyptian Hydrofarms and the Advancement of Hydroponic Technology in Egypt“

·         Dr. Martin Buchholz, TU Berlin: “Greenhouse based desalination for sustainable agriculture in desert climate”

·          Faris Farrag, Founder and Owner, Aquaponics:  “Innovations towards Food Security and Water Conservation in Arid Lands”

·         Helmy Abouleish, Chief Executive Officer, Sekem  Group: “Sustainable Land Reclamation and Community Building in the Desert

Session 2: Innovations for Sustainable Agriculture

Chair: Prof. Kamil Naguib Mettias, Agriculture Research Center

·         Prof. Dr. Ahmed Gaber, Cairo University: Chairman, Chemonics Egypt Consulting: „Anerobic Digestion of Agricultural Waste. Review of Recent Technological Developments"

·         Dr. Nabil Omar, Agriculture Research Center: “Improvement of Soil Fertility and Healthy Food by Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR) and Bioremediation”

·         Dr. Magdi T. Abdelhamid, National Research Centre: „Improvement of drought and salt tolerance of wheat genotypes under field conditions by high throughput precision phenotyping”

Session 3: How to Feed the World? Resource Efficiency by Biotechnological Applications

Chair: Prof. Dr. Eid Megeed, Agriculture Research Center

·          Prof. Dr. Michael Frei, University of Bonn: „How Crop Biotechnology can help us to face the Challenges of Global Change“

·         Dr. Taher Salaheldin, Agriculture Research Center: „Nanotechnological Approaches for Sustainable Agricultural Development”

·          Prof. Dr. Amira Adel Taha AL-Hosary, Assiut University: „Vaccine and Vaccination in Farm Animals in Egypt”

·          Dr. Ahmed Raouf Hamed, Agriculture Research Center: „Development and Application of Biological Control of Insect Pests in New Reclaimed Land”


Follow Up :



On Saturday the 28th of May, the Campus of the German Science Centre (DWZ) opened its doors to outstanding PhD and Post-Doctoral candidates to meet representatives of German universities. The German Science Day, this year in its fifth edition, constitutes an inherent part of the DWZ’s annual programme, and reflects the centre‘s key objectives of connecting German and Egyptian scholars and the according research landscapes.

The 300 attending guests had been invited after applying with their research proposals. More than 140 individual counselling sessions were offered by professors of the present universities: the Technische Universität Berlin, Technical University of Munich, Freie Universität Berlin and Philipps-Universität Marburg. The counselling sessions were a unique opportunity for the PhD and Post-Doc candidates to establish a first-contact with German professors, to present their proposals and get valuable insights and feedback. Following the German Science Day, the attendees will be able to use their established contact to further develop their research proposals and possibly find a doctoral supervisor.  

The German Science Day was opened by the panel discussion “Meet German Universities” providing basic information about the above mentioned universities and their programmes for young scientists. The day continued with sessions on different topics and from varying fields of research.

Amongst others, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Handke from Philipps-Universität Marburg, provided insights to “Teaching and Learning in the 21st Centruy”. He introduced different forms of online and computer based learning, such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and talked about the implications of this growing field of education. Akram Abdellatif, currently a PhD candidate at Technical University of Munich, shared his story of perseverance in becoming the first Egyptian astronaut candidate assigned by NASA, and how he uses his knowledge of space science in order to develop a drug curing Hepatitis C in a prize-winning project called “Egypt Against Hepatitis C Virus”. Prof. Dr. Rudolf Schäfer and Dr. Hassan El-Mouelhi of Technische Universität Berlin presented the universities Urban Development Research in Egypt from both the German and the Egyptian perspective. In addition, Prof. Dr. Christine Knaevelrud presented the Freie Universität Berlin’s project “Web-Based psychological intervention for traumatized individuals in regions of violent conflicts: a Berlin-Alexandrian cooperation.” The project is concerned with providing individuals without access to mental health care institutions, professional support through online diagnoses and therapy sessions. 

Other representatives of the universities and funding organisations, such as the DAAD and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, provided insights into scholarships, programmes, application procedures and financing models through information booths and sessions.

The heavy rush and the high demand of the guests for individual counselling sessions, demonstrated once again Egyptian’s interest in the German higher education sector and the importance of the DWZ’s work in providing outstanding Egyptian scholars with direct contacts to German research institutions. 


All presentations could be found below.

Organised by the German Science Centre in Cairo, 8 November 2015
Background of Conference:
Providing a secure national energy supply, which includes the balanced, sustainable use of the available potential coupled with continuous development of the obtainable energy efficiency potential, is at the core of socio-economic development for a country. In Germany, as well as in Egypt, the expansion of sustainable energy production and the compilation of an energy mix are vibrantly debated. This debate is being mirrored by numerous Egyptian-German research collaborations, which are fostered through multiple projects by the partners of the DWZ. Questions surrounding such an interdisciplinary topic as energy cannot be answered from an economic perspective alone, but need strong input from the research sector. Simultaneously it is indispensable to include the political context of the energy agenda in social discourse in order to do justice to the holistic demand for sustainable socio-economic development. The goal of the conference is to impart and deepen the understanding of the complexity of the multidimensional nature of the topic energy through five different working groups. Through an interdisciplinary approach, as is represented by the DWZ’s network, complex interrelations shall be emphasized and discussed with Egyptian partners. From the expansion of renewable energies, to socio-economic implications and the adaptation of energy consciousness within the education sector, the entire range of the topic will be analyzed and recommendations for action developed.


Keynote Re-Thinking Energy: Scientific Input – Social Output Conference:

Driving Renewable Energies: Experiences from Europe – Miranda Schreurs (FU Berlin)

Session 1: Innovative Business Models Enabling Establishment of Renewable Energies in Developing Countries

Session 2: Social Commitment Towards Ambitious Energy Transformation Goals

Session 3: Securing the Future of Clean Energy by Policy Mechanisms

Session 4: Bridging the Gap at its Best: Academia and Industry Collaboration in Energy Efficiency

Session 5: Innovative Concepts for Network Stability Despite Variable Energy Infeed

Follow Up Re-Thinking Energy: Scientific Input – Social Output Conference: