Water-Energy-Building – Training & Transfer
The “Water-Energy-Building – Training & Transfer” (WEB-TT) Project, which is being conducted under the lead management of the Technische Universität Berlin and aims at strengthening Egyptian vocational education and training in the construction sector, was launched on April 8th, 2011. Two main objectives are being pursued; to use vocational education and training (VET) as a vehicle for making environmentally friendly and resource-saving technologies accessible to the Egyptian population and to establish the foundation for the long-term and broadly based deployment of these technologies within the country.
A total of eight partners are designing and piloting VET modules funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF); as part of its “Educational Export through German Providers” program.
Egypt needs new homes every year, and as energy consumption increases strongly, resource-saving residential construction will contribute to a reduction of energy and water consumption. The Egyptians need both employment as well as sustainable and low-cost accommodation erected by qualified skilled workers. The goal of the WEB-TT Project is to develop exemplary solutions to address these prevailing conditions and requirements whilst linking innovative and sustainable technologies with training modules, which are aligned to the Egyptian circumstances and which cover water supply and disposal, energy technology and the construction trades. The aims of offering training via these packages include the facilitation of installation and maintenance works, integrating innovative and sustainable technologies which are delivered by German providers and which have been adapted to meet local conditions.
DAAD Exchange Programme: ‘Participatory Urban Regeneration’
Taking the form of a three year research-based exchange programme that started in 2013, the project addresses and questions the (recently widely adopted) idea of citizen participation in the process of urban regeneration, through case studies in four cities: Berlin, Cairo, Istanbul and Tehran. The spatial units investigated are inner-city neighbourhoods facing social or physical problems, in which traditional informal community networks can still be traced.
Recent on-the-ground activities in the target cities − either through state-led projects or voluntary NGO activities − for engaging communities in urban redevelopment projects support the idea that a feasible result can be achieved only when existing informal capacities for community engagement are incorporated into place-specific, rather than internationally-known, participation tools. This is because the concept of participation as it has been defined in the scientific literature can operate a kind of tyranny in specific cultural contexts, creating a pragmatic tool for facilitating the implementation of top-down decision-making and method design by ‘professionals’.
The programme is building up a network of academics, postgraduate students, professionals, and activists in the four cities which will take place through a series of exchange events and activities.
The project is a cooperation between Cairo University, Iran University of Science and Technology, Istanbul Technical University and Technische Universität Berlin. It is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office within the DAAD programme ‘Hochschuldialog mit der islamischen Welt’ and being coordinated by Technische Universität Berlin, Centre for Technology and Society.
DAAD alumna has been awarded
DAAD alumna Professor Laila Abbas Hussein has been awarded on 11 April this year by President Mohamed Mursi for her outstanding achievements in research and science in Egypt at the Day of Science with 36 other colleagues. She has rendered service not only to the Egyptian science, but also to the cooperation with German researchers. For 50 years, she maintains close contact with their research projects with their German colleagues at universities and research institutes. Since 1963 Hussein had six research trips to Germany, she wrote her doctoral thesis at the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms University Bonn. In addition she visited a number of prestigious German research institutes in their field, the nutritional sciences.
Since the 1980s she created surveys for the National Research Center (NRC) in Cairo. In a joint survey on lactose intolerance in Egypt with the Institute for Human Genetics of the Hannover Medical School, she found out that this disease is far more common in Lower Egypt than in Upper Egypt. At the same time she proved an excellent tolerability of lactose by the nomadic tribes in the Sinai. Based on these studies, the practice for many years in Egyptian to give pupils a glass of milk in schools in the morning to strengthen their health was reconsidered. Instead pupils get a yogurt today also compatible for people suffering from lactose intolerance. In another survey she examined in close cooperation with the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam the reactions of micro bacteria in the human body to different food products. A balanced diet strengthens the body and produces substances that kill the micro bacteria and prevent diseases. One junior researcher from her team wrote his thesis in the Institute in Potsdam and another junior researcher is going to go there next July to their laboratory to gain further experience.
Hussein is glad that the Egyptian government has recognized that only an efficient science and research landscape give a real prospect for the future of Egypt. The research funds were doubled a year ago. She sees a need for improvement in the research facilities, it still lacks of good equipment. Another challenge is to optimize the skills of young scientists, especially to ensure conditions under which scientists are to remain in Egypt. From her point of view the cooperation in these areas with European partners, particularly with Germany by the various DAAD programmes is irreplaceable. The exchange with German partners makes a lasting contribution to cope with the enormous challenges in science and research in Egypt.
Establishment of the Master programme "Environmental Archaeology"
The four-semester Master programme "Environmental Archaeology" at the Cairo University in cooperation with the University of Cologne was set up via the DAAD funding programme ‘Transformation Partnerships’. Dr. Tarek Tawfik of the Archaeological Department on the Egyptian side and Professor Michael Bollig as Vice President for International Affairs at the German side are responsible for the project. Following the idea of the DAAD programme the new Master sustains the transformation process in Egypt in many ways. Sustainable improvements can be achieved in the archaeological science, an important field for Egypt for reasons of political identity and economic. With its focus on environmental sciences and the study of prehistory it complements the Egyptian scientific community on one of its vulnerabilities and forms young academics in a fertile mix of humanities and natural science methods and approaches. The graduates are qualified for an additional employment in archaeology as well as for interdisciplinary collaborations outside academia as in tourism. With graduates of this Master programme Egypt will be able in the medium term due to explore independently, to protect and to present appropriate his "invisible" archaeological sites in the sense of "Preventive Archaeology". The international cooperation forming the basis of the course will create due to the versatile nature of the prehistoric archaeology the germ for permanent academic networks in the field of humanities and natural sciences.
After a test run in the current winter semester in spring 2013 the beginning of the programme is going to follow.