Development and implementation of the International Master`s program “Ecology” at SCU

One of the main objectives of SATIS project is the development of an international Master of Ecology (MEC) program at the Suez-Canal University (SCU), which educate students in the field of ecology, qualifying them for profession and scientific career. This study program should be open for students of every country, also Non-Arab students, who is interested in biology, ecology or a related subject. As an international Master all courses will offered in English.

IMG_1758The development of a new MEC is adapted to national and international (European Higher Education Area – EHEA) accepted regulations. Since the SATIS kick-off meeting in February the national accreditation process is started. The dean of the Faculty of Science as well as the president of the SCU approved in June the implementation of a new MEC. To link the new MEC with EHEA, students will get credit points according to the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Moreover an academic year in Egypt is very similar to German and improves the possibility that Master students from SCU and Bremen University could exchange on course level, semester, research project or thesis, founded by different program (DAAD, international Erasmus, etc.)

The current state is the development of curriculum and course contents. The program will consist of 4 Semester (two years) including a half year M.Sc. thesis according to the EHEA. The structure is left to the MEC program at the University of Bremen by adaption to Ismailian needs and facilities. Besides obligatory courses specialization will be possible by an individual choice of optional courses like Population, Vegetation or Soil Ecology. To offer a variety of courses different departments of Faculty of Science are involved. The courses consist of theoretical and practical parts and also include self studying. Methods of teaching and instruction will be lectures, seminars, laboratories and excursion. Further the ReviTec® approach will be an essential part in teaching and courses like Experimental Design, Vegetation Ecology, Soil Ecology, Sustainability Research, and Biodiversity, research activity in project course or for Master Thesis.

During the visit of Prof. Raouf Moustafa, Prof. Samira R. Mansour and Dr. Saad Zaghloul at the University of Bremen in September 2015 the curriculum was discussed and concretized. After finishing the MEC curriculum content will be sent to the Supreme Council of Universities in Cairo to approve it on national base. This is scheduled for the next month.

Visit of Delegation from Suez Canal University in Bremen

IMG_1758

In the Context of the SATIS project Prof. Abdelraouf A. Moustafa, Prof. Samira R. Mansour and Prof. Mohammed S. Zaghloul from Suez Canal University (SCU) visited Bremen University from 14.-18.9.2015. The workshop was organized by Dr. Thomas Buse from the UFT at Bremen University. Tanja Woronowicz, Prof. Hartmut Koehler, Raimund Kesel and Dr. Michael Boronowsky are The SATIS Team Bremen During the very busy schedule the current status of the SATIS project had been discussed. The activities in setting up the ReviTec pilot at SCU are finalized and the first scientific experiments had been started.

During the stay the adopted curriculum of the International Master of Ecology in Ismailia was deeply discussed and a plan for the national accreditation in Egypt was developed. The decision to start the MSc prgram only in 2016 was agreed as most valuable, because the management structures at SCU need to aligned accordingly. It will need some more month to establish a common set of quality assurance instruments according tot he Europaen Higher Education Area rules to further on enable students’ exchange from both sides. The current development of the Master was also discussed with Prof. Martin Diekmann, chairman of the International MSc program at University of Bremen. Beside these activities a visit of the KNO-Compost production site took place, also to support the discussion of the ReviTec substrate production.

IMG_1759In general terms new approaches to solve the pressing problems of desertification and degradation were discussed. The guests from SCU reported about the land degradation in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas which is intensively increased by human activities. Beyond this climate change effects, salinization, loss of biodiversity, loss of ecosystem service and goods, the use of natural resources, environmental economics and sustainable development had been topic of this visit.

IMG_20150918_125638_DxO

Dr. Thomas Buse, Prof. Mohammed S. Zaghloul, Prof. Samira R. Mansour, Tanja Woronowicz, Prof. Juliane Filser, Prof. Abdelraouf A. Moustafa, Raimund Kessel, Prof. Dr. Hartmut Koeler (from left to right)

Development and implementation of the ReviTec® site at the Suez-Canal University

12

Area for the ReviTec® research and demonstration site in front of the Faculty of Science, Ismailia, Feb. 2015

During the last month the research and demonstration site is getting more and more visible. After the kick-off meeting in February in Ismailia a possible research site was chosen on the campus which is approved by the president of the Suez-Canal University. A 100 x 65 m area behind the Faculty of Science building is available for a ReviTec® approach to combat desertification and soil degradation. The area is divided into six 30 x 30 m plots which are intersected by stone paths. The entrance door was already standing, but the area had still to be prepared and fenced.

3 4

 

 

 

 

5ReviTec®® site building activities in April/ May 2015

 

 

 

In May 2015 Mr. Raimund Kesel and Dr. Thomas Buse from the University of Bremen conducted a four days training for the implementation process of the research and teaching site in Ismailia. During their stay regional soil amendments such as compost, dung or biochar from Egyptian char production were tested for an application in the ReviTec® modules. A module consists of degradable fabric bag filled with substrates, seed and amendments for the improvement of water and nutrient conditions.

786
11

 

 

 

 

 

      Raimund Kesel and Thomas Buse visited the site in May and trained the substrate mixing procedure, the arrangement of the ReviTec® modules and discussed possible scientific designs and research interests

10

Further the first research question, the setting and the implementation process were discussed, which should start in October after the extreme summer month. Moreover the very dry climate condition with less than 30 mm rainfall in Ismailia, ReviTec® application have to be combined with appropriate soil wetting technologies. One objective of the experiments is to reduce water use and in consequences to reduce salinization with standard ReviTec® structures.

The goals of the ReviTec® site at the Suez-Canal University are following:

  1. Testing and demonstration of combinations of the ReviTec® soil rehabilitation with soil wetting technologies.
  2. Cultivation of medical plants and of crops and fodder plants on ReviTec® arrangements.
  3. Scientific monitoring of and teaching about the development and the performance of the ReviTec® structures.

During the preparation of the research site the first scientific work to determine soil parameters and the seed bank in the soil has done by the student Ms. Aya Awad Elsayed Mohamed from the Department of Botany. She did first important measurements in pH-value, particle size (texture), organic matter content and electronic conductivity of soil samples for her Bachelor thesis and as a references for later investigations on this research site.

12

Aya Awad Elsayed Mohamed collected soil samples for seed bank analysis

 

 

 

For the year 2015 two main experiments on two plots of the research site are developed now.

The first experiment deals with the effective production of Moringa seeds in high number and high quality. Moringa is under severe pressure on the Sinai from its exploitation as multipurpose medical plant by the native population, including seed collection. There is no natural re-growth. Combined with socio-ecological measures, ex-situ conservation may be a solution to re-establish viable Moringa populations on the Sinai. This experiment aims at the optimization of seed production with ReviTec®-supported plantation. With a standard and a reduced irrigation regime the water saving potential of ReviTec® is assessed.

The second experiments prove the water efficiency of irrigation systems in combinations with the ReviTec® structures. The growth of crop plants such as dry rise, millet or barley on the structures themselves will investigate according to biomass and yield production of these plants.

Both experiments were designed and finally discussed during the visited of Prof. Raouf Moustafa, Prof. Samira R. Mansour and Dr. Saad Zaghloul at the University of Bremen in September 2015. Research question and related hypotheses were developed and will be proven with the respective factorial design.

13 14

 

Field design for the Moringa experiments                            

 

 

Different colors means different treatments, blue lines is the irrigation system

 

Field design for the ReviTec® structures in irrigation systems

 

 

 

The research, teaching and demonstrations ReviTec® site should be an explorative approach within a new international Master of Ecology program at SCU. Egyptian MSc students together with their lecturer become directly involved in ongoing research activities at the demonstration site while generating new results, develop further research question and find approaches to solve the pressing problems of desertification and salinization.

The ReviTec teaching component should refer to

  1. basic ecological questions such as environmental factors (edaphic, climatic, biotic, …), vitality curve (e.g., ecological potential of Moringa), succession, biodiversity (seed) and management of these components
  2. application of ecological knowledge in selection of biotic components, management according to a specific aim, selection and preparation of biotic and abiotic material.

15

The ReviTec® Pilot site in September 2015.

eINTERASIA Project finished

IMG_20150827_180714

The eINTERASIA project Team and the project reviewers. Meeting in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The Final Conference

The EU-FP7 Project eINTERASIA – ICT Transfer Concept for Adaption, Dissemination cropped-cropped-eINTERASIA_Logo_final11and Local Exploitation of European Research Results in Central Asian Countries – finished with the Final Conference at 27.08.2015 in Almaty at the premises of Almaty Management University (ALMA) and the final Review on 28.08.2015.

IMG_0532The objectives of the final conference: to get together the interested specialists to share the knowledge and ideas in the area of innovative IT solutions, technology transfer and to present the major results obtained within the eINTERASIA project.

IMG_0524About 100 participants from different sectors (academic sphere, transport and logistics companies, IT enterprises and technological parks, small and medium businesses) took part in this event.

Invited speakers:

  1. V. Kopanas (EC). ICT in Horizon 2020. Focus on Work Programme 2016-2017 download
  2. K. Magzieva (NCP – KZ).The Role of National Contact Point of Kazakhstan to strengthen cooperation between the EU and Kazakhstan download
  3. A. Kozhakhmetov (President of Almaty Management University). The use of innovative IT solutions at the university download

eINTERASIA project coordinator Prof. Novickis (RTU, Latvia) and Prof. Kozhakhmetov (President of Almaty Management University).

Several presentations of the conference have been devoted to the outputs of eINTERASIA. Beyond others Mrs. Tanja Woronowicz presented “Standardized Knowledge Transfer linking European Research with Central Asian Business Development  – ISO/IEC 15504 innoSPICE” and Dr. Michael Boronowsky were talking about “Showrooms as a Windows to Scientific Based Innovations”

Informal discussion between presenters and participants has been held after the presentations session. Ways of bilateral cooperation beyond the project between different partners have been agreed.

IMG_0656

The final review of the eINTERASIA project

The Review Meeting

The formal closure of the Project was the final Project Review held on day after the final conference. The eINTERASIA Project aimed at supporting an international cooperation with Developing Economies of Central Asia by creating an innovative ICT Transfer Concept and business model for adaptation, dissemination and local exploitation of EU research results. Geographical region of Central Asia which is of great importance to the EU as a bridge to China, Afganistan, Vietnam and the Middle East was selected to demonstrate eINTERASIA universal approaches. In the consortium the Region was represented by organizations from Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with main focus to Kazakhstan (low and middle income countries).

During the meeting the results of the last deliverables were presented and discussed with the reviewers. The very active work and the convincing team play was positively perceived and the deliverables were accepted by the reviewers beside two minor remarks. The Innovation Capability Center was very pleased to work within this consortium, to visit regions with huge future potential, and to learn from each others perspectives. The project was coordinated by Prof. Leonids Novickis from Riga Technical University (RTU), and we are thankful for the very professional work and the excellent management of our project!

The eINTERASIA Technology Transfer Questionaire

Beside the great partnership, the new networks and the insights that we have developed during the project, the Generic Technology Transfer Concept will be a sustainable result for the Innovation Capability Center. Based on the partnership with Prof. Antanas Mitasiunas from Mitsoft the Innovation Capability Center at University of Bremen was responsible to develop this concept. It is founded on the ISO/IEC 15505 Standard based model innoSPICE to facilitate transformation of ICT research results into local Innovation. A questionaire was developed that is alligned with the structure of the innoSPICE process reference model. In eINTERASIA this questionaire was used to transform individual research results into a unified representation – helping to strucutre relevant Information related to the commercialization and the transfer of the results into new application areas. This questionaire is dealing with a central challenge in assessing the transferability of individual research results – how to structure the transfer relevant “non technical meta data” of a research result. The Innovation Capability center will continue to establish this idea as an element of the knowledge- and technology transfer process. The questionnaire can e.g. be an important standardized element to improve the deal flow from university to potential investors.  It will an efficient way to understand the readiness and completeness of research results to generate societal or commercial values from an non-technical perspective.

IMG_1272

Impression from the great nature in Uzbekistan at the eINTERASIA project meeting in Tashkent (Mai 2015)