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Viewing cable 10CAIRO224, A/S Jones meets with GoE officials on Health, Science, and

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10CAIRO224 2010-02-03 16:04 2011-02-16 21:09 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Cairo
VZCZCXRO5390
RR RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTRO
DE RUEHEG #0224/01 0341633
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031630Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0130
INFO ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 CAIRO 000224 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
SIPDIS 
DEPT FOR OES/FO (ROBERT HILTON) 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV EAID KFLU TSPL EG
SUBJECT: A/S Jones meets with GoE officials on Health, Science, and 
Technology Issues 
 
REF: CAIRO 162 
 
1. (SBU) Key Points: 
 
--In January 20 meetings, A/S Jones emphasized that health, 
science, and technology cooperation form an important component of 
the US-Egypt relationship and stated OES's desire to bolstering 
collaboration. 
 
--According to Higher Education and Science Research Minister Hany 
Helal, the Egyptian government (GoE) has identified renewable 
energy, health, agriculture, and water as key national science and 
technology priorities. 
 
--Health Minister Hatem El-Gabaly agreed to support USG programs in 
combating polio in OIC-afflicted countries as well as the recently 
announced Global Health Initiative. 
 
--A roundtable discussion with Egyptian scientists revealed strong 
support for the US-Egypt science and technology fund but also 
concerns about inadequate grant funding, inadequate review feedback 
and insufficient time to complete research projects. 
 
2. (U) A/S Jones explained in all of her meetings that the US 
remains committed to expanding existing partnerships with the 
Egyptian government and scientific community and looks forward to 
working together on health, science, and technology programs. 
During her January 20 visit, A/S Jones also met with Ministry of 
Foreign Affairs officials and delivered the Copenhagen Accord 
demarche (Ref A). 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
 
 
3. (SBU) Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Helal 
explained the Ministry is working closely with the Prime Minister's 
Supreme Council on Science and Technology (Ref B), to identify 
national science and technology priorities and has directed the 
Science and Technology Development Fund (STDF) to serve as the lead 
organization to support research proposals addressing these issues. 
He stated that STDF - a Ministry organization created in 2007 to 
manage inter-government science and technology policy - will seek 
to finance programs in renewable energy, health, agriculture, and 
water.  Helal noted that the Ministry would also like to raise 
financial support to the US-Egypt Science and Technology 
Contribution Fund (STCF), increasing annual contributions from 2 to 
5 million USD from both countries. 
 
4. (SBU) A/S Jones said the US agrees that financial contributions 
for STCF need to be expanded and discussions are underway to 
consider such an increase.  She also expressed concern about the 
low acceptance of submitted proposals, noting that the current 8% 
success rate has the potential to discourage scientists from 
applying for funding. A/S Jones also urged the Ministry to continue 
providing written explanations for rejected research proposals and 
to provide opportunities to resubmit them. Helal pledged the 
Ministry's support and also stated his desire to continue dialogue 
regarding increased financial support for STCF. 
 
------------------ 
 
Ministry of Health 
 
------------------ 
 
 
 
5. (SBU) Health Minister El-Gabaly told A/S Jones that Egypt 
attributes part of its success in lowering its H5N1 mortality rate 
to USG public awareness programs, calling them "tremendously 
helpful health activities."  El-Gabaly stated that the Ministry 
will gladly support USG plans to combat polio in Nigeria, 
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Sudan as well and looks forward to 
participating in the new Global Health Initiative. "I'm pro-US 
cooperation," El-Gabaly explained and stated that he hopes the US 
will assume a larger leadership role in developing new science, 
technology, and health programs in Egypt and across the region. A/S 
Jones asked El-Gabaly to contribute to the planning for the April 
2010 pandemic influenza meeting in Hanoi and the Minister agreed. 
 
CAIRO 00000224  002 OF 002 
 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
US-Egypt Science and Technology Fund Participants 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
 
 
6. (SBU) In a meeting with 14 scientists - all of them former 
participants in STCF programs - A/S Jones said that the US is 
firmly committed to  American and Egyptian research and recognizes 
the need for increased funding.  The group, which consisted 
primarily of Junior Scientist visitor alumnae (a program that 
provides funds for short-term training at US institutions), noted 
the overall success of STCF in offering financial assistance for a 
multitude of research areas but also identified several areas for 
improvement.  A lack of communication in explaining the reason for 
rejecting research proposals, insufficient funds to support 
Egyptian scientists working in the US, and delays in approving 
projects were listed as continuing problems.  A/S Jones offered to 
raise these concerns with the MoHE and urged those in attendance to 
seek new ways to collaborate with US researchers.  She also 
suggested that information regarding the fund and other funding 
opportunities be provided on-line. 
 
7. (U) A/S Jones cleared this message. 
SCOBEY