Assistive Technology, Middle East, News, April 26 2021
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Egypt’s National Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development (NIGSD) launched in April an incubator for enterprises producing technologies for the disabled.
Executive Director of NIGSD Sherifa El-Sherif stated that the Assistive Technology Incubation Program was launched by opening the door for licensed Egyptian companies to submit their initial models for the proposed solutions for various assistive technologies that fall under four areas, which are: providing access to public places and transportation, inclusive education, inclusive employment, health, and early medical intervention.
Joining the program is achieved by winning a competition dubbed the Open Innovation Challenge for Persons with Disabilities. The project also has partners Nile University, the Nilepreneurs Initiative, the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, the Nitros Project and the Faculty of Economics Business and Political Science.
As the NIGSD is the training arm of the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development, Minister Hala El-Said explained that the criteria for applying for the program are that the company is Egyptian; it has been licensed for at least one year; the team has the technical requirements to devise the solutions; and, the age of the company’s owners or founders does not exceed 40.
Four companies will be selected and their proposed assistive technologies will be incubated for six months, during which work will be made to turn those prototypes into products that can be available in the market and produced commercially.
To support and empower women entrepreneurs and people with disabilities, the incubation program will provide additional training to achieve equal opportunities for all, Sherif explained.
Technical support will also be provided to the participating companies in Alexandria through the headquarters of the Arab Academy for Science Technology & Maritime Transport (AASTMT) and in Fayoum and Sohag through the units of the Nitros Project, Sherif noted asserted.
“To encourage female entrepreneurs in the communications and information technology sector, one of the four companies that will be chosen has to be founded or headed by a woman,” she added.
The Assistive Technology Incubation Program comes under the activities of the United Nations Development Program in Egypt “Assistive Technologies and Digital Tools for a Better Inclusion of People with Disabilities,” which was launched in December with the participation and under the auspices of the ministries of youth, sports, tourism, antiquities, social solidarity and the Egyptian Sports Federation for Intellectual Disabilities.
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