Monday, 7 July 2008

New renewable energy centre for Egypt -- but will it generate royalty income?

Egypt has established the Regional Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, a US$30 million project for renewable energy for the Middle East and North Africa. Based in Nasser City, Cairo, the Centre was opened last month with funding from the European Investment Bank and the European Commission, the German Agency for Technical Cooperation and the Danish International Development Agency. The Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Energy is also around 20% of the money.

Apart from performing research on renewable energy, including the testing of solar and wind power technologies, the Centre will provide consultancy services to governments and private companies, promoting knowledge and technology transfer between companies and governments in the region and the North. If the technologies it develops are viable, it will also hold training programmes to help set up technologies around the region.

The initial funding is intended to keep the Centre going for the first five years. Beyond that, it should be self-financing "through its consultancy and training services". From the fact that the self-funding is not predicted to come from royalty revenue from the licensing of any of its likely intellectual property rights, it may be speculated that any innovative products will be the subject of royalty-free licences [source: Environmental News Network]

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