20140924_01_GYA members at EYAS launch
GYA members Ghada Bassioni, Amal Amin, Sherien Elagroudy and Sameh Soror on stage at the EYAS launch with ASRT President Prof. Mahmoud Sakr.

On 18 September 2014 the Egyptian Young Academy of Sciences (EYAS) was officially launched under the auspices of the Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT) and in the presence of the President of ASRT, Prof. Mahmoud Sakr, the Egyptian Minister of Higher Education, Hossam Eisa, and the Egyptian Minister of Scientific Research, H.E Prof. Sherif Hammad, as well as international representatives of Young Academies. 15 members were accepted as the first members of EYAS.

The project of EYAS began in 2009 and it took several attempts to establish it as a National Young Academy (NYA) because of the difficult political situation in Egypt in the last years. In 2012, a first decree was issued by ASRT to establish EYAS on the day before a fact finding mission of the Global Young Academy to Egypt, where we met ASRT and other important players to support the launch of a NYA. On 28 November 2013, the acting President of the ASRT issued a new decree for launching EYAS and the formation of a steering committee for EYAS. The steering committee headed by the President of ASRT included six Egyptian members of the Global Young Academy – Amal Amin, Sameh Soror, Sherien Elagroudy, Ghada Bassioni, Mohamed Farag and Sherif El-Khamisy. The task of the steering committee was to select the first members of EYAS and to act as advisory board for the development of EYAS.

In their opening remarks both the minister Prof. Hammad and the ASRT president showed high commitment to empower the new National Young Academy and they expressed their willingness to involve young scientists in future planning and strategy development. In his opening remarks the GYA Co-Chair Sameh Soror explored the importance of establishing a NYA and its roles. He highlighted the GYA support for EYAS and stressed that the GYA is willing to cooperate with EYAS and all national young academies in order for young scientists to achieve their goals.

Following the official launch, the 15 EYAS members and the advisory board members met with their international guests to learn from their experiences. Amal Amin presented the history of the Young Academy movement and the foundation of the GYA and EYAS. Heidi Wedel, Managing Director of the GYA presented the GYA, the NYA movement and the support GYA can offer to NYAs. While Sershen Naidoo, Chair of the South African Academy of Sciences SAYAS focused on lessons learned, Mohd Basyaruddin Abdul Rahman Chair of the Young Scientists Network – Academy of Sciences Malaysia talked about the activities of their NYA. Sabine Dorpmüller introduced the newly founded Arab-German Academy of Science. All participants agreed that the exchange of experience was very fruitful.

We wish EYAS good luck in shaping the future for young researchers in Egypt and are looking forward to hearing about their progress and to cooperating with them.