A team of Egyptian scientists won the $10,000 prize for 3rd place at Intel’s 7th Annual Global Challenge held at the University of California at Berkeley. The team, Dr Hassan M E Azzazy, Tamer M Samir, Sherif Mohamed Shawky, Mai M H Mansour and Ahmed H Tolba, won both an Intel Global Challenge Prize and 1st place in the Arab Technology Business Plan Competition for its Hepatitis C test. From the Nov. 16, 2011 article by Georgina Enzer for ITP.net,
The team developed a Hepatitis C test which uses gold nanoparticles to detect Hepatitis C in less than an hour, and at one-tenth the cost of current commercial tests. The team won a $10,000 prize for their innovation.
The Intel Global Challenge at UC Berkeley encourages student entrepreneurs and rewards innovative ideas that have the potential to have a positive impact on society.
The Egypt team, NanoDiagX, led by Dr Hassan M E Azzazy, Tamer M Samir, Sherif Mohamed Shawky, Mai M H Mansour and Ahmed H Tolba won first place in the 7th Arab Technology Business Plan Competition 2011, organised by the Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) in partnership with Intel Corporation. The regional competition, which was also in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), features 50 projects from 50 Arab entrepreneurs across 15 countries.
U.S. President Barak Obama has recognized the team’s achievements, from the Nov. 19, 2011 news item on Egypt.com
U.S. President Barack Obama honored the Egyptian team that won third prize of Intel’s Global Leadership after discovering a new cure for hepatitis C virus with nanotechnology.
The Egyptian team, Nano-Diagx, is the first Arab team to win the competition, organized by the Arab Organization for Science and Technology in cooperation with Intel and UNIDO.
Azazi [Dr. Hassan Azazi] said his team s most important advantage is the spirit of teamwork, which is uncommon in the culture of the Arab region.
He added the project used nanotechnology and gold to develop a cure for HIV hepatitis, which affects more than 200 million people worldwide and more than 100,000 Egyptians annually, particularly in cancer cases and cirrhosis of the liver.
It should be mentioned 28 technological projects participated in Intel’s World Challenge this year. The projects are all from 22 countries; Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Thailand, America, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, India, Uruguay, China, Japan, Brazil, Taiwan, Philippines, Turkey, Argentina, Chile, Poland, Denmark and Israel.
I came to the conclusion that the team was successful in two competitions, Intel’s World Challenge which attracted 28 entries and the Arab Technology Business Plan Competition which attracted 50 entries even though it’s not stated explicitly in the materials I have read.
Congratulations to the Egyptian team’s accomplishments which become even more noteworthy when you realize the working conditions for many scientists in Egypt. In a Feb. 4, 2011 posting, I excerpted parts of an interview in Nature magazine about Egypt and science,
The article goes on to recount a Q & A (Questions and Answers) session with Michael Harms of the German Academic Exchange Service offering his view from Cairo,
How would you describe Egyptian science?
There are many problems. Universities are critically under-funded and academic salaries are so low that most scientists need second jobs to be able to make a living. [emphasis mine] Tourist guides earn more money than most scientists. You just can’t expect world-class research under these circumstances. Also, Egypt has no large research facilities, such as particle accelerators. Some 750,000 students graduate each year and flood the labour market, yet few find suitable jobs – one reason for the current wave of protests.
If you are interested, here’s the article, ‘Deep fury’ of Egyptian scientists.
Tags: 'Deep fury' of Egyptian scientists, Ahmed H Tolba, Arab Organization for Science and Technology, Arab Technology Business Plan Competition, Barack Obama, Egypt, Georgina Enzer, German Academic Exchange Service, gold nanoparticles, Hassan M E Azzazy, Hepatitis C, Intel Annual Global Challenge, Mai M H Mansour, Michael Harms, NanoDiagX, Sherif Mohamed Shawky, Tamer M Samir, UNIDO, United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, University of California Berkeley