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TriNex – Knowledge Triangle Platform for the Water-Energy-Food Nexus


Egypt is facing a rapid demographic growth and is under threats from water, energy and food insecurity. An innovative and integrated approach to resource management is required. The general objective of the TriNex project is to make Water, Energy, and Food Nexus (WEF Nexus) the next research, education and innovation frontier for sustainable resource management and development within the framework of green economy in Egypt. A strong increase of the number and quality of researchers is mandatory and therefore one of the leverages to be pulled is the university capacity in promoting program and research about the WEF Nexus with effective links with labour market requirements, thus facing also the priorities for the partner universities.

The project aims at improving the role of universities in the Egyptian society by developing a national strategy and a university platform to promote the WEF-Nexus and the related synergy between research, education and innovation (Knowledge-Triangle). 

The Water-Energy-Food Nexus is the core of the Center for Sustainable Development's (CSD) research activities. The research includes mainly the interconnections between water, Energy and food and how and where these three systems intersect and the interdependencies among these three systems and how to ensure food, water and energy security for an ever-growing population. 


Hani Sewilam TriNex logo The Water Food Energy Nexus – an animation
Hani Sewilam explaining the WEF nexus
AUC New Cairo (Egypt), March 5, 2014
TriNex II logo The water-food-energy nexus - an animation


To advance the goal of integrated planning, policy and management, it is important to increase awareness about how these systems three intersect, and why greater coordination is necessary. CSD works on answering WEF Nexus related questions at two levels: the technical level and policy level. 

On the technical level, CSD has established a WEF Nexus lab at AUC. On the policy level, the CSD runs different projects in collaboration with different local and international partners such as Cairo University, Alexandria University, Heliopolis University,  Politecnico di Milano, Technical University of Graz, Montpellier SupAgro in France and RWTH Aachen University in Germany. TriNex is one of the important initiatives run by the CSD.  It aims to develop an Egyptian national strategy and university platform that synergizes research, education and innovation on the WEF Nexus. This University platform will provide lifelong learning for researchers, encourage interdisciplinary learning, and initiate projects.


The TriNex project commenced in December 2013 and completed in March 2017.


TriNex specific objectives:

1 – Developing a National Strategy and Platform for the WEF-Nexus.

2 – Establishing WEF-Nexus Coordination Bodies in the partner universities

3 – Creating a qualified generation of WEF academicians.

4 – Developing and pilot delivering of an EU-EG PhD Summer School to strengthen cooperation between junior researchers.

5 – Developing a Web-Based Knowledge-Sharing System to facilitate academic cooperation.


TriNex outputs and outcomes:

1. A National Strategy for the WEF-Nexus is identified and discussed with stakeholders.

2. A WEF-Nexus Coordination Body is established within each partner university.

3. Qualified Egyptian academics are trained to face WEF-Nexus multidisciplinary projects.

4. A Euro–Egyptian PhD Program on the WEF-Nexus is defined with a pilot implementation and an international conference.

5. A web-based Knowledge Sharing System is online and training materials are shared. 


Summary of Work packages (WP):

WP.1 Development Knowledge Triangle Platform for WaterEnergy-Food Nexus 

WP.2 Development Development of the WEF coordination bodies 

WP.3 Development The Water Energy Food (WEF) Training Programme 

 WP.4 Development TriNex Long-Term PhD Summer School 6 33 

WP.5 Development Development of an online knowledge sharing system 

WP.6 Dissemination Project Dissemination Channels 

WP.7 Exploitation Sustainability 

WP.8 Quality plan Quality Control 

WP.9 Management Management of the Project 



For more information about the project, visit

European Commission TEMPUS
The American University in Cairo RWTH Aachen University Politecnico di Milano Montpellier SupAgro Graz University of Technology
Alexandria University Cairo University Heliopolis University Sekem Development Foundation Bibliotheca Alexandrina