CAIRO: Zewail City for Science and Technology is an Egyptian national project and the Armed Forces will participate in such a project, said Noble laureate Ahmed Zewail in a press conference held in the Cairo-based administrative building of the technology campus Wednesday.
“The city, which is located in 6 October City, will be expanded to be on 200 acres with the participation of the Armed Forces in its building,” said Zewail, who added that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi would inaugurate it.
Zewail City is a non-profit scientific institute and was proposed in 1999, but a Cabinet decree on May 11, 2011 labeled the project a “National Project of Scientific Renaissance” and called it Zewail City of Science and Technology. In addition, a presidential decree allows students to enroll in the city’s university. The city selects between 4-5 percent of applicants, Zewail said.
“There are seven research centers in the city with international standards and a center of basic science research has been established to serve Egyptian and Arab citizens,” Zewail added.
He announced that a new center named the Talaat Harb Institute for Economic and Global Affairs will also be established in the city to study the Egyptian economy and for carrying out research and projects.
The city will form a “City Youth Council” from students of the university and youth supporters from its fan club the Zewail City Friends.
A nanotechnology facility will be built and is scheduled to be inaugurated this month or in the month after. The equipment is being installed now according to Zewail. “This center will be a breakthrough in the industries of nanotechnology,” he said.
On April 9, Zewail City spokesperson Sherif Fouad told The Cairo Post the city will need funding amounting to approximately $2 billion and will rely on donations offered by the government and the people.
The Scientific Advisory Council
Sisi Saturday issued a presidential decree forming an advisory council of leading scientists and experts headed by Zewail to consult on large development projects, presidential spokesperson Ihab Badawy said.
“The Scientific Presidential Advisory Council is just a nucleus of the future as new experts in the fields of Egypt are wanted,” Zewail said during the conference.
“It is the first time that an Egyptian president has hired scientific experts for decision making,” Zewail added.
He said the advisory council will work on non-traditional solutions to crises facing Egypt, including the national power shortage.
“Using nano-internal technology, solar cells can provide 33 percent of [Egypt’s] electricity,” Zewail said.
The conference was attended by Egyptian-American chemical physicist Mostafa al-Sayed, psychiatrist Ahmed Okasha, Urology and Nephrology Center of Mansoura University founder Mohamed Ahmed Ghoneim and other members from the council.
According to the presidential decree, the council includes former NASA scientist and Director of the Center for Remote Sensing and Research at Boston University Farouk El-Baz, Microsoft Deputy Chairman Ali Faramawy, former Chairman of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Global Development Council Mohamed A. El-Erian and Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Imperial College London Magdi Yacoub.