31 Dec 2017
Alexandria, Egypt
Renewable energy and energy efficiency

It is said, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The Scientific Researchers Organization (SRO) is proving that when the same collaborative approach is applied to the scientific community, it has the power to unearth innovative strategies to combat environmental challenges.

Over half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to unsustainable and inefficient energy. Clean, affordable energy solutions are imperative to tackling climate change. Egypt’s Scientific Researchers Organization is actively working to harness the collaborative power and knowledge of scientists, researchers, consultants, and professionals to generate and implement solutions to this pressing problem.

A family affair:

For some people, it takes a lifetime to find one’s true passion or purpose. Others – like Energy Management Consultant and SRO Co-Founder Dr. Dalia Yacout – are sure from the start.

“My parents are both researchers at Alexandria University,” Dalia explains. “Even as a child, they took me to work with them in the labs.” Dalia’s involvement wasn’t forced; her parents simply shared their profession with her and supported her interests. “They brought me my own lab when I was seven or eight years old, so I could execute experiments at home,” she recalls.

As an adult now working toward science-based solutions with her father, Dr. Mohamed Yacout – the Founder of SRO, is a natural fit. “When we considered his 40 years of experience in genetic engineering and biotechnology and my 10 years of experience in environmental studies and consulting,” Dalia says, “we realized we could work together to establish a professional organization focused on science-based problem-solving.”

Collaboration is key:

The world of science and research can be highly competitive. But Mohamed and Dalia believe collaboration is the key to creating solutions to global issues. “We encourage and facilitate global cooperation between researchers, universities, private companies, and industries,” Dalia says. “SRO was just established earlier this year, but we already have 16 people from 12 universities in seven countries on our Scientific Committee.”

Through conferences and workshops, SRO invites others that share their vision to join them in their active search for applicable answers.

“Our focus right now is on green energy and environmental biotechnology,” Dalia shares. “We want to find a way to make green energy accessible and affordable to all.”


According to the United Nations, one in every five people on the planet lacks access to modern electricity and three billion people worldwide still count on coal, wood, charcoal, and animal waste for cooking and heating. So SRO’s aim is no small task.

“The biggest challenge is finding suitable technology. In Egypt, we have a lot of technology, but it’s not affordable,” Dalia explains. “There are many sources for green energy, but they are mostly in the research and lab stage and cannot be easily applied for everyone. Solar is one example, but it’s very costly. We need more affordable options for everyone.”

Electrical Engineering Consultant Mohammad Azraq echoes Dalia’s concerns. “Although the price of solar systems has decreased in the last five years, they are still very much out of reach for the vast majority of citizens in Egypt and the MENA region,” Mohammad explains. “Space allocation and urban planning are some of the barriers to the expansion of domestic renewable energy systems. Rooftops in the Middle East are typically crowded with water tanks. These tanks take up space that could otherwise be used for solar panel installations. Additionally, tilted roofs are not popular in the region, so mounting structures for the solar photovoltaic (PV) systems are required – this adds to the cost.”

The SRO’s Scientific Committee are putting their heads and hopes together and have already begun working on several green energy projects.

“One of the most exciting things we are currently working on is developing an eco-industrial software application for energy management in industrial facilities,” Dalia says. This is familiar territory for Dalia. While earning her PhD, she conducted research related to energy management and environmental impact assessment in a textile factory in Egypt. “I was investigating ways to reduce negative environmental impact,” she explains.

Now, SRO is collaborating with experts from the Alexandria Petroleum Company toward the shared goal of creating green energy solutions. “This software application will assist industries in reducing their energy consumption and related costs. It has the potential to conserve a diminishing fossil fuel resource while reducing CO2 emissions.”

The project intends to make a positive economic impact as well. “The usage of the application and the expansion to cover other industries can create new jobs in the areas of software developing and energy management,” Dalia adds.

Responsible science and affordable access:

Education is also a priority for SRO. “Another project we are involved with is the Fostering Academic Curricula in Egypt (FACE) Project,” she says. This initiative aims to create an academic curriculum that fosters awareness of “responsible conduct of science” amongst graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists, and engineers in Egypt. True to SRO’s mission, this project is highly collaborative, involving the Sustainable Production & Adaptation to Climate Change Effects center (SPACE), the Faculty of Agriculture from Damanhour University, and funding from the US National Academies of Sciences.

This is just the beginning for SRO. “We are also working on registering SRO at the Industrial Modernisation Center (IMC) in Egypt as experts in green energy and cleaner production so that we can share our expertise with the different industrial facilities,” Dalia says. “We are constantly evaluating additional potential projects for collaboration and are open to submissions from scientists, researchers, companies, and others that share our values and vision.”

SRO focus on cooperation, education, and clean energy access provides evidence and hope for the potential positive impacts we can make when we work together toward improving conditions for people and the planet.

“My dream is that we can continue to grow as a collaborative organization and eventually provide technology that everyone can afford.”

Learn more about the Scientific Researchers Organization at their website, on their Facebook page, or by joining them at the International Conference on Biotechnology and Environment held in Alexandria, Egypt from 28 – 30 March, 2018.

In addition to being a storyteller for The Switchers, Sunny is a Lonely Planet Local, a freelance writer, and the Founder of FROLIQ.Sunny Fitzgerald
An Egyptian organization’s collaborative approach to combating climate change | The Switchers
SRO Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency
Follow us: