Our region has passed through circumstances that didn't motivate creativity due to rapid wealth in some areas and poverty in others. At the age of knowledge, no one has superiority on others but for his/her creativity - Abu-Ghazaleh
Our goal is to support SMEs and one-year old startups through an objective investment by networking innovators and potential investors “ Mrad
The need to develop entrepreneurship among the youth - Hamarneh
AMMAN “ The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA technology center) in cooperation with Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org), El Hassan Business Park, and the Licensing Executives Society- Arab Countries (LES-AC) announced the launch of the Commercialization Tour.
The Tour was announced in a press conference held at the El Hassan Business Park headquarters, in the presence of the organizers headed by Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, chairman of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org), ESCWA technology center Executive Director Dr. Fouad Mrad, Mr. Omar Hamarneh, CEO of the El Hassan Business Park and a host of media representatives and experts.
The Commercialization Tour will be conducted in five countries; KSA, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. Innovators that have outcomes of science based research and development ready for licensing, investment or any form of commercialization are targeted in this activity.
Dr. Mrad said that one of the essential tasks carried out by the center is to link and network public, private and innovation bodies in the fields of science and technology to contribute to the economic and social development at the ESCWA 14 member countries.
"Competitiveness indicators significantly vary between the Arab countries which constitutes an ideal opportunity for cooperation and exchange of capacities," Dr. Mrad said.
"Our goal is to support SMEs and one-year old startups through an objective investment by networking innovators and potential investors," he added.
"ESCWA member countries have been investing greatly in the last few decades in the education system (around 17 billion per year for Higher Education). Unfortunately, they have not adequately exploited innovation and entrepreneurship capacity for enterprise and socio-economic development," he pointed out.
According to Mrad, one activity that proved to be effective in other parts of the world and is suitable for the region for encouraging innovation and widening the opportunities of matching innovators with investors is the "Commercialization Tour" format.
TAG-Org Web Development Department developed the Commercialization Tour's website, all technical related issues, the e-judging system and the administration of the applications.
"The participants have to register and create an account through the system to be able to fill the e-applications and send them to the judges who will electronically communicate with them," the Department's Manager Mr. Ramez Quneibi said.
Ten winning projects from each of the five targeted countries will be awarded a 100000 to1000000 US Dollars funding.
From his part, Mr. Hamarneh stressed the need to develop entrepreneurship among the youth, develop their creativity and networking them businessmen and investors.
Meanwhile, Abu-Ghazaleh who addressed the attendees said that the real problem in the Arab world is mainly the networking between innovators and investors.
"On the occasion of being appointed by the WTO General Director on the Panel on Defining the Future of Trade, I said that there is presently a new trade which is not the trade in goods or services but the trade in knowledge. The biggest merchant worldwide is Google," he said.
"I believe that this Tour, initiated by ESCWA, will be a turning point in supporting innovative projects in the region. We are talking about 50 creative projects and I believe that there exists one that is similar to Google or Facebook," Abu-Ghazaleh noted.
He urged all funds and financial institutions to support this Tour.
"Our region has passed through circumstances that didn't motivate creativity due to rapid wealth in some areas and poverty in others. At the age of knowledge, no one has superiority on others but for his/her creativity," Abu-Ghazaleh concluded.
Receiving applications started today and lasts through July 31, 2012. The announcement of the winners will take place beginning October 2012.
For more information: www.comm-tour.com