The British University in Egypt, in cooperation with TusPark Holdings, China’s largest science park, will be launching the Science and Innovation Park (SIP), Egypt’s and the region’s first science park. The project will partially open in May, and the final opening is expected in November.
With an estimated budget over EGP 80 million (US$ 4.5 million), SIP is built on an area of 14,000 square meters in El Shorouk City and is set to serve the local entrepreneurial community and nearby industrial surrounding zones (Obour City, 10th of Ramadan, and Badr City).
SIP accepts local and foreign startups as long as they abide by the Egyptian Law. The project does not focus on a specific industry right now. “We will focus on building solid and growing startups for the meantime,” Sarah Nasser, coordinator at SIP, told Wamda.
It will provide various forms of support to entrepreneurs, including incubation, coworking spaces, startup office space, a nanotechnology center, fabrication and prototyping labs, as well as communal areas, meeting rooms, and conference halls, in addition to access to the British University’s facilities.
SIP will also offer flexible contract agreements, technical assistance, and business support customized to the needs of each startup, marketing and legal advisory services at preferential rates, assistance in networking, and exposure to the market.
According to Nasser, startups will pay rent and fees for services depending on their level of maturity. The exact cost has not been decided yet, but it will be within the market rate or less. Nasser said that for the time being, SIP does not provide funding. “However, we have a good network of investors who trust our assessment and recommendations. Also, we will be working to secure some fund from EuropeAid, Ministry of Investment, Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, partner banks, and others. This will all depend on the timing of releasing the calls and the terms and conditions of the funding organization,” she explained to Wamda.
She added: “TusParks is our managing partner. So basically they will aid us in the management of the Science Park and the Business Incubator since they have started theirs 20 years in Beijing. As for transferring startups to manufacture their prototypes in China, there has not been any agreement to do so. However, TusPark's team will be aiding startups in any technical or business obstacle they face and facilitate their growth and acceleration providing both technical and business knowledge and operational experience.”