Birzeit, partner universities hold first review session for smart cities project

Birzeit University held an evaluation workshop for the eSCO Project, on Monday, October 8, 2018. The project, funded by Erasmus+, develops the skills and capacities of Palestinian academics, graduates, and technicians to support the establishment and operation of smart cities in Palestine. 

eSCO is led by Birzeit University, and organized together with Al-Quds University, the Islamic University of Gaza, the University of Salford, the University of Malaga, and the Sapienza University of Rome, along with the support of the Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology and the Ramallah Municipality. 

Mohammad Jubran, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Birzeit University and the eSCO coordinator, emphasized the project’s role in establishing Palestinian smart cities, and reviewed the project’s first-year outcomes.

Along similar lines, Abdellatif Abu-Issa, also a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Birzeit and the project’s manager, highlighted how eSCO was managed according to donor requirements, and stressed the importance of joint cooperation between the partner institutions. 

Nedal Jayousi, director of the National Erasmus+ Office in Palestine, said the purpose of the workshop was to review the project’s progress and discuss future plans for action. He noted that Erasmus+ projects in Palestine are cooperative in nature, bringing together local and European partners and connecting local universities with their international counterparts. 

eSCO, Jayousi added, is a major project for both Palestinian universities and the Palestinian community as a whole, given the benefits that smart cities afford its citizens. 

Issac Eid, a professor at Al-Quds University; Ammar Abu Hadros, a professor at the Islamic University of Gaza; Safa Dwaik, from the Ramallah Municipality, Maysa Manayer and Yasir Whaidi, from the Ministry of Telecommunications; and representatives from the partners European universities discussed the project’s achievements in the previous year and the best methods of applying eSCO on a broader scale in Palestine. 

At the end of the meeting, the team met with President of Birzeit University Abdullatif Abuhijleh and Vice President for Academic Affairs Henry Giacaman, who reaffirmed the university’s support for such projects that benefit the Palestinian community and encouraged professors in all disciplines to submit developmental or research proposals that would boost Palestinians’ quality of life and cement the university’s relationship with its international partners.