Egypt has already reached a notable milestone in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) field, noted Laffitte. "I think there will be very good opportunities for the Egyptian ICT to get now to the second step," he added.
Senator Laffitte called on the concerned parties to give a special emphasis to technology and other related departments at Egyptian universities. According to him, they can play an effective role in the innovation process.
He further stressed on the importance of establishing cooperation ties between ICT companies and universities as to research and development, not only in the technology fields, but also in related specialties like applied mathematics and physics. He added that this will help steer the innovation process in Egypt.
Senator Laffitte further added that Egypt now has the manpower and talents to open new SMEs that should be supported by bigger companies and universities.
The Sophia Antipolis Foundation President opined Egypt's technology park the Smart Village has been fast moving in the right direction, describing it as faster in development than any other similar project in the world.
He added that the Smart Village is now required to adopt a more challenging strategy to develop its engineering systems and help add new technologies to the Egyptian education systems.
Senator Laffitte suggested a few steps to upgrade the Smart Village like bringing research and higher education to the park, building underground metro lines linking it to Cairo and allocating spaces inside the village to European SMEs not just giant companies.
The key to be like Sophia Antipolis, the Smart Village, according to Senator Laffitte, is giving more emphasis to research and development (R&D), education, innovation and linking it to ICT companies and the business community, which is the new approach adopted by universities worldwide.
Last December, Egypt had officially joined the International Smart Villages Network affiliated to the Sophia Antipolis Park, France's landmark technology park and the world’s oldest, following an agreement signing between the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA) and the park during the Egyptian official mission to Paris led by Minister of Communications and Information Technology Dr. Tarek Kamel. The agreement aimed at sharing the foundation's know-how in terms of interface, opening up communication channels between Sophipolitan and Egyptian players as well as establishing innovative training schemes. Founded in 1969, Sophia Antipolis Foundation is the oldest technology park in the world, now hosting about 1276 companies specialized in computing, electronics, pharmacology and biotechnology.
Smart Village is an example of Egypt’s high tech infrastructure, economic incentive packages and commitment to the future. The 450 - acres project provides a high tech environment and world-class professional convenience for IT and Telecom companies including 24/7 broadband fiber optic connectivity and uninterrupted power supply within the most ideal office space for conducting business activities.
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