3 March 2013
Tamkeen Winning Projects Announced

§ Signing cooperation agreement to develop technological capacities of the Ministry of Scientific Research and its affiliates
§ Agreement between MCIT and National Council for Disabilities Affairs to support the Council’s technological infrastructure to serve people with disabilities nationwide

Ministers of ICT, Mr. Atef Helmy, and of State for Scientific Research, Dr. Nadia Zakhary witnessed today the ceremony for announcing the results of “Tamkeen” contest.

“Tamkeen” is a contest of software applications and mobile phones to enable people with disabilities, through which MCIT aims to promote new ideas of IT and technological software applications. 

The two ministers also signed a cooperation agreement on developing the technological capacities of the Ministry of Scientific Research and affiliated research centers and institutes. 

They witnessed signing a new agreement between Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the National Council for Disabilities Affairs to support the technological infrastructure of the Council and its branches in all Governorates.

Dr. Abeer Shakweer, advisor of ICT  Minister for Community Services, and Ms. Hala Abdel Khalek, National Council for Disabilities Affairs Secretary General attended the ceremony.

After the contest final results were announced, the winning projects were recognized and were given acknowledgment certificates,. 

Six projects were nominated from 50 ideas submitted by contestants.  Mr. Atef Helmy, ICT Minister has decided to host the winning projects in the Ministry’s technological incubations and support them financially and technically, supporting them in local and global markets, for the real added value they represent in the field of global software. 

Mr. Helmy added also that the Ministry will provide specialized training programs required by the winning projects owners to ensure maximum utilization of these software applications for people with disabilities.  The Ministry will also perform interactive tests for these programs by disabled persons throughout the various stages of development.

The projects ideas were software targeted service for hearing impairments such as "reading lips", "interaction with computer for people with hearing disabilities software package" and the “interpreter mediator project for the hearing impaired”.  Besides, software designed for visual disabilities such as "Automatic control of home", "I can see" and "speaking boxes” projects.

Dr. Abeer Shakweer said that “Tamkeen” competition is the first of its kind in Egypt and the Middle East.  MCIT has decided to hold it periodically in order to detect new creative ideas to serve the people with disabilities and help them overcome their daily live challenges. 

She added that the competition was launched in October 2012, as a practical application to achieve one of the main focuses of the Ministry's strategy to support and empower people with disabilities and integrate them in the community by using IT applications. 

Such applications contain many projects in education, health, rehabilitation and training to develop the capacity and skills of people with disabilities.  She pointed that the Committee which was formed from Computing and Information College professors and a group with various disabilities have received and evaluated projects of creative ideas for contestants, to assess the suitability of such ideas to their needs. 

This took place under the auspices of Minister of ICT and supervision of the community services advisory office, in cooperation with TIEC affiliated to Information Technology Industry Development Agency, "ITIDA". 

Worth mentioning that “Tamkeen” competition targets various disabilities, and aims at giving the opportunity to talented Egyptian minds to compete in this domain, through MCIT’s continuous support, in order to reach the best ideas and programs that help and serve people with disabilities and talents. 

On the sidelines of the ceremony, Mr. Atef Helmy and Dr. Nadia Zakhary signed the cooperation protocol between the two ministries stating that MCIT shall set a new system to develop the information capacity of the Ministry of Scientific Research. 

It also aims at developing and enhancing the technological skills of its employees, reaching the optimal model for the assignments and follow-up system of the Ministry and its affiliated research institutes, as well as the development of its affiliate Patent Office. 

This shall take place by implementing a number of projects at the Ministry of Scientific Research and 13 affiliated research centers and institutes, namely:

§ Develop the correspondence and assignments archiving system: in order to provide an integrated automated system within which assignments and correspondence are exchanged among different administrative levels, thus follow up on achievements.  This system shall be applied in the Ministry of Scientific Research and the 13 referred to research centers and institutes.

§ Creating an Electronic Portal for the Ministry of Scientific Research: This project aims at providing an online content management system for the Ministry that is accessible by citizens for review.

§ Providing training courses for professionals at the Ministry of Scientific Research and research institutes: through MCIT’s providing a range of IT courses for employees at the Ministry of Scientific Research, research centers and affiliated institutes according to the needs of each entity, aiming at human development and skills enhancement of their employees.

§ Providing technical advice from MCIT specialists: the Ministry of Communications shall deliver technical consultancy in many IT fields through specialists in its various departments.

§ Developing Patent Office: This project aims at providing an electronic signature system to access the Patent Office site, enabling the electronic payment system by the end of the documentary cycle of the patent application, and adding SMS service to facilitate the services offered by the Ministry to the public.

§ Development of the Ministry of Scientific Research and its affiliated research centers information network: through developing the intranet and providing integrated and secured solutions for business networks to the Ministry of Scientific Research and its affiliated institutes. It is expected that these projects will be gradually implemented in executive stages over 3 years.

A cooperation protocol was also signed between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the National Council for Disabilities Affair in order to improve the work system efficiency within the Council by creating an accurate and comprehensive database to list people with disabilities data and create a network for information and services exchange between the Council head office and its branches in the governorates. 

Moreover, it shall support decision makers by providing statistical reports and data mining tools to serve researchers and decision makers, to facilitate access for people with disabilities to various government services.

This 3-year-agreement comes with a total cost of 7.5 million pounds, in the framework of activating MCIT strategy and supporting the great role played by the National Council for Disabilities Affairs in providing multiple services needed by people with special needs.

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