IBM invests in nanotech and services in Egypt

IBM announces nanotechnology research centre and extends services investment and programs in Egypt

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By  Mark Sutton Published  September 20, 2008

IBM is set to invest in nanotechnology research and improving services delivery in Egypt.

During a visit to the country by IBM CEO and president Sam Palmisano, the company announced that the establishment of a nanontech research centre in Egypt, along with the launch of a Global Service Delivery Center and an agreement with the Egyptian government to develop services science curriculum for universities.

The investment will build on IBM’s existing services business in the country, and work alongside government programs to drive Egypt’s IT services industry.

"Egypt faces a major opportunity; the seat of one of the world’s oldest civilizations is now an emerging player onto the world stage of a new, globalized economy," Palmisano said. "I am impressed and optimistic about its future because of the way it is nurturing its talent, its human resources and its technical potential. These initiatives announced today mark IBM’s deep commitment to strengthening that process of growth and opportunity and extending the long and highly successful partnerships we have enjoyed in Egypt."

Palmisano met Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Prime Minister Dr Ahmed Nazif during the visit, and discussed collaboration on economic development.

The Global Services Delivery Centre, which is already operating with a staff of one hundred, is providing a range of business consulting and software development services to clients the Middle East, Europe and the US. IBM intends to expand the centre to around one thousand employees over the next few years,

To further support the Egyptian government’s efforts in creating a services outsourcing industry in the country, IBM will also work with the government to develop Services Science, Management and Engineering (SSME) into the Egyptian National Curriculum. SSME is a new discipline that combines science, management, legal and engineering expertise to develop skills for a services –based organizations.Dr Tarek Kamel, Minister of Communications and Information Technology commented: "The launch and successful development of a 100-person center that is expected to grow to eventually employ 1,000 people will result in a culture that will foster and promote a stronger knowledge-based export economy for Egypt.

"Nanotechnology is a new and exciting field for innovation, impacting every industry and has been identified as the way to position Egypt to become part of the next generation technological revolution. The SSME curriculum will provide our students with skills currently in high demand by organizations around the world,” he added.

The Nanontechnology centre is intended to be a world-class facility for both local engineers and scientists, and IBM’s own researchers, to develop nanotechnology programs. The centre will work in co-ordination with other IBM Research efforts in the field in Switzerland and the US.

“The set-up of the nanotechnology center and the introduction of SSME by Egypt and IBM are key to the implementation of Egypt’s science and technology strategy that will lead to the development of a knowledge economy,” said Dr Hany Helal, Minister of Higher Education and State Minister of Scientific Research. “The Government of Egypt’s profound commitment to investing wisely in the development of highly skilled, capable young people to take their place in competitive global markets is reflected in our work with IBM to develop the most innovative and relevant learning programs for our students.”

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