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Crop Biotech Update

A Roundtable on Opportunities In Science, Technology And Innovation In Egypt

June 22, 2012

An interactive roundtable on opportunities in science was organized by the Egyptian Competitiveness Council (ENCC) to identify and prioritize innovative scientific and technological developments in agriculture last June 12, 2012. The event held in Cairo was sponsored by USAID, Egyptian's Competitiveness Program and ENCC. It was attended by 50 participants from both government and the private sectors.

The round table discussion was moderated by Tarek Tawfik, ENCC Member and Head of Food Security and Safety Sub-council, who gave an update on global food security and developments in biotechnology to address agricultural challenges. Mrs. Amina Ghanem, Executive Director of the ENCC, noted that Egypt's score on the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) has been decreasing, from 83 out of 131 countries in 2009-2010 to 103 in 2011- 2012. She said that this is cause for alarm and that Egypt should spur developments to avoid future crises.

The participants stated that Egypt needs to initiate and facilitate trust between private sectors, researchers, and decision makers. Important issues that need to be addressed include the need for transparency to maximize the benefits of research and communication to reach out to stakeholders. In addition, IPR and plant varieties protection should be taken into consideration. Among the recommendations were to decentralize research, create a non-centralized knowledge park, facilitate access to innovation, maximize the role of the private sector, and create long term working groups.

For more news about biotechnology in Egypt, email  Dr. Naglaa Abdalla of the Egypt Biotechnology Information Center at nabdallah@e-bic.net.