During the 39th meeting of the SESAME Council on 1-2 December, which was a hybrid meeting and as such the first Council meeting since the beginning of COVID-19 at which some of the delegates were at last able to meet in person again, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SESAME and Egypt’s Academy for Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) was signed to establish a framework within which they may collaborate for the development of synchrotron radiation-based basic and applied research. There ensued signature of a follow-up Specific Agreement drawn up for concrete collaborative actions designed to enhance the use of synchrotron technology at SESAME by Egyptian scientists.
The MoU offers many prospects of exciting collaborative actions said Gina El Feky, Supervisor of Scientific and Cultural Relations at ASRT and Chair of SESAME’s Finance Committee, who signed both documents on behalf of Mahmoud Sakr, President of the Academy, and, she continued, I am confident that Egyptian scientists pursuing scientific research using the beamline facilities at SESAME for materials science/physics, life sciences, cultural heritage, and chemical sciences will stand to greatly benefit from the opportunities offered by the Agreement.
The Director of SESAME, Khaled Toukan, who signed the MoU and Agreement on behalf of SESAME, very much welcomed the signature of both documents, which in his view very aptly formalized the already good cooperative relations with ASRT and opened the door to further strengthening this relationship and increasing the benefits Egyptian scientists may derive from SESAME.
ASRT is a non‐profit organisation affiliated with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Egypt. It was established in September 1971 as the national authority responsible for science and technology in the country. It is the Egyptian house of expertise that brings together outstanding Egyptian scientists and experts from universities, research institutions, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, policy-makers and prominent Egyptian scientists in the diaspora to deliberate country problems, and propose and carry out scientific studies and future strategic basic plans to tackle these problems. The President of ASRT, Mahmoud Sakr, is one of Egypt’s delegates to the SESAME Council. The second Council delegate, Amr Elhag Ali, is Chairman of the Board of the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (EAEA).