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Within the framework of its active participation in CBE's "Nile Pioneers" initiative: Banque misr signs cooperation protocols with the universities of al-azhar and Ain Shams, and the arab academy to build design houses for entrepreneurs
On Sunday, 14 July 2019, Banque Misr signed cooperation protocols with Al-Azhar and Ain Shams universities, the Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport (AASTMT). The purpose of these protocols is to build design houses for entrepreneurs. The signature ceremony was attended by Ms Lobna Helal – Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt; Mr Mohamed El-Etreby – Chairman of Banque Misr; as well as the presidents of the universities; Mr Akef El Maghraby – Vice Chairman of Banque Misr. The ceremony was also attended by many high-profile public figures and leaders of the banking sector.
These cooperation protocols come within the framework of Banque Misr's participation in the "Nile Pioneers" national initiative that was launched by the Central Bank of Egypt to support entrepreneurship, creativity, automation, as well as to serve the needs of upcoming small and medium projects.
Commenting on the protocols' signature, Ms Lobna Helal praised the efforts of Banque Misr in supporting the "Nile Pioneers" initiative, confirming that the design house represents one of the main mechanisms of the initiative which helps increase local products' competitiveness and increase the share of the local component in manufacturing. This is aligned with the Central Bank's directions to encourage sustainable development of the Egyptian economy. It also comes as a continuation for the success witnessed by the design house prototype that was inaugurated inside the Nile University premises in May 2018. The protocols signed today represent the first step of expansion to establish more design houses at Egyptian universities. Ms Helal also highlighted that the universities selection criteria is based on vast expertise in various domains, be it scientific, vocational, or research in engineering sciences and fields.
Mr Mohamed El-Etreby said that "Banque Misr is a national financial enabler that is relied upon to support national and strategic progress in various social and economic domains. This is why Banque Misr was keen to actively participate in the "Nile Pioneers" initiative through its contribution in the establishment of the design houses under the umbrella of the initiative, to support creativity and improve the different industries. This, in turn, shall play a part in accelerating development and creating job opportunities and community development."
Mr Akef El Maghraby said that "The bank was keen on diversifying the objectives of the three design houses in order to maximize the benefit to the society as a whole. For instance, the design house at Ain Shams University will act as a link between the university and the industrial sector to offer consultancy, design, and protype services. It will specialize in robotics, industrial machinery and automotive. Al-Azhar University design house, located in Minya, will focus on agriculture, water, and energy to act as a technical arm for the technology incubator to maximize the benefit for research centers, innovator students and youth, researchers from other institutes and universities. This is aimed at spreading the creativity culture. Last but not least, the Arab Academy's design house will be focused on marine sciences and underwater technologies, in cooperation with many universities and organizations that focus on such fields."
Ms Nermine El Tahri, Banque Misr, indicated that "The design house is the first of its kind in Egyptian universities. The design house works with the university students, entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small industrial institutions to develop new products, build prototypes using reverse engineering and design-for-production techniques. The design house also trains young calibres on design concepts and the latest simulation programs in addition to evaluating and reviewing the engineering designs for young innovators."
In its first year, the design house at the Nile University has achieved many successes where it worked with 10 start-ups and more than 15 developers to produce prototypes for their products in cooperation with several Egyptian exporters to develop and analyse the performance of their products to meet international standards. The design house has also cooperated with local companies and entrepreneurs in the fields of reverse engineering and re-engineering to support local manufacturing. The design house offered 300 training hours in the fields of product design, development, and simulation using advanced engineering programs. The training hours were provided to engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs.
On the side lines of the protocols' signature, Banque Misr has given honorary awards to the team of entrepreneurs from the Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport (AASTMT), that achieved second position at the international competition Mate Rov 2019 in the United States of America. That competition gives the chance to students from schools, universities, and technical institutes to learn and develop underwater robotics. Underwater robotics are used in various industries in salt and fresh water, especially for installing, fixing, and maintaining telecom marine cables that connect the internet between different continents; beside the oil and gas industry, marine transportation, rescue operations, ocean engineering, etc. These honorary awards came as a sign of Banque Misr's appreciation for entrepreneurs and as an encouragement for them to move forward towards achieving their ambitions which would ultimately benefit the entire society.
Banque Misr has taken part in many protocols and initiatives that support micro, small, and medium projects. The bank has participated with the Ministry of Local Development in the "Mashroak" (Your Project) program which aims at funding micro and very small projects through the one-stop-shop outlets found in local municipalities all over the country, amounting to 308 local units where Banque Misr is present in 238 of them with a 77% penetration as of 26 March 2015. The number of beneficiaries of this program has reached 121,000 in June 2019 compared to 86,000 in June 2018 with an increase of 36,000 beneficiaries with a percentage of 41%. The micro, small and medium projects' portfolio at the bank amounted to EGP 24 billion in June 2019 compared to EGP 11 billion in June 2018, with an increase of EGP 13 billion at a growth percentage of 118%.
Banque Misr is always keen on supporting the Egyptian economy and the micro, small, and medium projects as the bank believes in these projects being the catalyst towards achieving sustainable development.