Birzeit, partner universities hold workshop for smart cities project implementation

Birzeit University, and its partners in the Erasmus+ funded project “E-Academy to Support Smart Cities Operations in Palestine (eSCO),” organized a series of workshops to enhance cooperation between academic and industrial sectors between April 8 and 10, 2019.

This project aims to build capacity and enhance the human skills of Palestinian academics, fresh graduates, and technicians to support the establishment and operations of smart cities in Palestine and thereby reduce unemployment. The project will focus on three fields that are considered enablers for smart cities, namely IT security, telecommunication and computer networks, and smart grids.

ESCO, led by Birzeit University, is 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 and supported by the Palestinian Ministry of Telecom and Information Technology and Ramallah Municipality. 

Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology at Birzeit University Wasel Ghanem inaugurated the first day of the workshop, reaffirming the university’s commitment to forging local and international connections and enhancing cooperation by opening new frontiers and strengthening existing ties, especially in projects that aim to empower academic institutions through human resources and logistics.

The officer of external academic relations at the university, Amir Khalil, gave an overview of the various projects the university is implementing in cooperation with local and international partners.

ESCO’s project coordinator Mohammad Jubran, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Birzeit University, emphasized the project’s role in establishing Palestinian smart cities and highlighted the importance of the workshop in enhancing cooperation between the academic and industrial sectors, especially in a modern topic such as smart cities.

The second day of the project, hosted at Ramallah Municipality, was inaugurated by Mousa Hadid, Ramallah’s mayor, who emphasized on the municipality’s dedication to promoting technological advances that will benefit citizens both in Ramallah and worldwide. The participants, in turn, reviewed the objectives of the project and explored how the municipality can cooperate and contribute to the success of these developments.

The Ministry of Telecommunication and IT hosted the third day of the workshop that investigated means to develop and support modernization and accessibility of smart cities in Palestine through cooperation.

The project’s partners visited Ramallah’s Friends Boys School and conducted an interactive session with its students on the idea of smart cities. They also visited Leaders Organization and discussed prospects of cooperation, especially by helping students develop their graduation projects into start-ups.