Call for experts: consultancy Mission for the support of Technology Transfer in Lebanon

Posted on February 13, 2019
Overview

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As announced a few weeks ago, we are getting ready to start the first technical assistance missions provided by THE NEXT SOCIETY.

 As you know, these expert missions are conducted at the national level as a direct follow-up of the public-private dialogue conducted during advocacy panel meetings. They intend to support the implementation of policy measures on innovation and competitiveness.

 For each country the process is the same:

  • We collectively identify priorities to work on (improve legal framework, create a new instrument, support an existing initiative…) to strengthen the innovation ecosystem;
  • We prepare terms of reference with our partner(s) involved in the country, according to these priority needs;
  • We publish the call for experts online on thenextsociety.co;
  • We select the experts (within the consortium or not) with our local partners on the basis of the applications received.

 

The first mission to be started will be in Lebanon where technology transfer has been identified as the first priority for which a technical assistance mission should be dedicated.

To do so, we launched an open consultancy on line. The selected experts will be in charge of conducting a technical assistance mission to support the development of a technology transfer mechanism in universities in Lebanon. Technical and financial specifications of this consultancy mission are detailed on the website in the Terms of reference of the call and below.

The consultancy is open for Lebanese and international experts and applications should be sent to THE NEXT SOCIETY coordination team at welcome@thenextsociety.cobefore February 28, 2019.

For more information, read about the objectives of THE NEXT SOCIETY

             

Consultancy Mission for the support of Technology Transfer in Lebanon

“Provision of expertise to support the development of a technology transfer mechanism in universities in Lebanon focusing on:

– the implementation of a funding mechanism adapted for applied research

– an incentive policy for researchers to develop applied research with a commercial potential.”

 

Technical & financial specifications

Background information on THE NEXT SOCIETY

THE NEXT SOCIETY is an open community of changemakers, entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, NGOs, public and private innovation, research and economic development hubs from Europe and 7 Mediterranean countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia.

It aims at mobilizing, promoting and reinforcing innovation ecosystems and economic development in the MENA region. To reach these goals, THE NEXT SOCIETY supports the emergence of talents and innovative leaders who will drive the next trends and usages by targeting start-ups, clusters and technology transfer offices to accompany their development.

Launched by ANIMA Investment Network and 30 partners (including Berytech in Lebanon), THE NEXT SOCIETY has launched a four-year action plan (2017-2020), co-funded by the European Union up to 90% for a global amount of EUR 7.8 million, which impacts 4 levels of the innovation ecosystems:

  • Improve policy frameworks: THE NEXT SOCIETY establishes a public-private dialogue and benchmarks Mediterranean innovation ecosystems in order to design and implement country strategic roadmaps and improve innovation support strategies.
  • Foster start-up successes: THE NEXT SOCIETY offers tailor-made support to Mediterranean start-ups to help them go international and raise funds thanks to tailor-made services: innovators academies, mentoring, soft landing, bootcamps, international business development missions and power dinners with investors. Download the Start-up Booster Track brochure.
  • Promote and internationalize clusters. THE NEXT SOCIETY develops peer-learning services for business and industrial clusters as well as foreign partnerships and guides them towards a Cluster Excellence management approach. Download the Cluster Booster Track brochure.
  • Accelerating technology transfer towards the enterprise. THE NEXT SOCIETY involves technology transfer offices, universities, researchers and creators to develop solutions to the challenges faced by their countries, through calls for projects and workshops with potential users of these solutions (large international firms, industry leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, civil society). Download the TTO Booster Track brochure

For more information, please download THE NEXT SOCIETY presentation brochure here.

 

Technical assistance mission

The technical assistance mission is conducted as a follow-up of the public-private dialogue conducted during advocacy panel meetings taking place in Lebanon within the initiative.

Acting as a Task Force at national level, the objective of THE NEXT SOCIETY Advocacy Panel is to oversee innovation roadmap formulation, its implementation, evaluation and update, with the objective of strengthen the national Innovation system, foster coordination among actors involved and improve concrete instruments of the innovation policy. This panel is composed of Lebanese private sector representatives and investors, innovation stakeholders, relevant Ministries and their agencies, the European Union Delegation to Lebanon as well as academic experts.

The First advocacy panel held in 2017 identified technology transfer as one of the main issues to be tackled to reinforce the Lebanese innovation ecosystem. Following this first meeting, a new advocacy panel held in September 2018intended to identify in technology transfer field priorities on which THE NEXT SOCIETY will provide an expertise.

The panel’s members highlighted that Lebanese researchers are good publishers but there is a need to incentive them and create rewards systems to push them to develop projects with a commercialization potential, patenting etc. The Lebanese ecosystem is indeed challenged by the lack of funding for applied research, lack of IP policies and support as well as weak links between universities research and industrial needs.

Generally speaking, there is a need to plant innovation seed in academia. Panel’s members also highlight that most industries claim to be innovative, but they don’t even have an R&D department, which is crucial for innovation.

Therefore, there is a need to develop the technology transfer landscape and encourage the development of research that address market needs being turned into commercial growing startups, or better connected with industrialists.

Based on these observations, below are the main findings of the advocacy panel:

  • Lack of support and finance for applied research
  • Lack of awareness and linkages between academia and industry
  • Lack of synergies between existing initiatives in technology transfer field
  • Lack of coordination among universities
  • Lack of data available on technology transfer
  • Lack of incentives and clear policies in universities that encourage the development of applied research with a commercial potential

 

Format and objectives of the mission

This call is open for Lebanese and international experts, provided the proposal includes at least one Lebanese expert, knowledgeable in the field. The two selected experts will conduct the mission with the objective of improving the process of technology transfer landscape in the country.

To do so, they will propose a methodology able to empower researchers and students’ end of year projects in the process of turning their research projects into viable businesses.

The experts will be in charge of defining a financing mechanism and a reward system for applied research adapted to the Lebanese academic context in order to incentivize researchers to develop projects with a commercialization potential that can be adapted to the needs of at least 5 universities in Lebanon.

This work will have to include the following components:

  • Design of a mechanism that includes a funding instrument for applied research macro level
  • Development of an innovation policy for universities that allow clear process for technology transfer, ownership model and IP operations (in line with their internal systems and policies) adapted for the Lebanese context.
  • Design of a reward system – including its operational functioning- according to the needs and to be implemented in top 5 universities in Lebanon, ensuring linkages and synergies with industrial actors and their needs (defining exact incentives needed for researchers) micro-meso level

 

Activities that must be carried out to understand the context:

  • Desk review of existing reports developed on technology transfer and innovation at university;
  • Identification of existing initiatives that support technology transfer and interviews with team leaders;
  • Interviews with top 5 universities, assessment of their needs and current tech transfer/IP process;
  • Interviews with top innovation stakeholders (national research institutions, IP firms, incubators, technology enablers…);
  • Interviews with top 5 industrial stakeholders

 

Collaborative framework

The mission is expected to start in March 2019 and for one-month timeframe. For its whole duration, the experts will work in close collaboration with Berytech and more widely with the stakeholders of the Lebanese innovation ecosystem. The consultants will work targeting the needs of top 10 universities and a specific attention will be paid to foster a continuous collaborative work between universities and private sector actors.

 

Deliverables of the mission

  • A technical assistance mission report that includes:
  • International technology transfer best practices,
  • Policy recommendations and technology transfer/IP process in line with internal innovation policy of universities and market needs
  • Analysis of industrial growing sectors and market needs
  • Development of an adapted reward system (incentives) for researchers included in a comprehensive funding mechanism for applied research and innovation policy in 5 universities.
  • Development of a funding mechanism that is adapted to applied research and can be implemented in Lebanon (process, mechanism, functionality, criteria…)

 

The report should be delivered in April 2019 the latest and experts will present the mission outcomes during the advocacy panel of THE NEXT SOCIETY in Lebanon planned in May 2019.

The report developed including outcomes and findings, will be used to build a program that can be adapted to Lebanon to grow technology transfer and the document will be used to explore fundraising opportunities in order to implement it.

 

Budget & payment conditions

The budget allocated for the entire mission must include all mission costs, including travel costs (travel ticket and subsistence costs in Beirut if necessary)

THE NEXT SOCIETY management team will proceed to the payment of the estimated costs the latest 2 months after completion of the action and the validation of its deliverables.

 

Selection Criteria & Process

 

Profile of the expert(s)

The two experts should fulfil the following criteria:

  • At least 10 years of experience in innovation and technology field
  • Proven knowledge and expertise in research-based start-ups and technology transfer processes and practices acquired as entrepreneur and/or investor and/or consultant
  • Previous experience with Mediterranean countries will be an asset
  • Proficiency in English is required.

 

Application & selection process

Applications should include:

  • A detailed resume highlighting the expert experience in the fields relevant to the expertise mission
  • A technical offer including a description of the methodology used, main milestones and implementation steps as well as an estimate of the time spent on each task;
  • A financial offer (days and costs in man days).

 

Deadline

Applications should be sent to THE NEXT SOCIETY coordination team on the following email address: welcome@thenextsociety.co before February 28, 2019.

About The Next society through Berytech

Represented by Berytech in Lebanon, THE NEXT SOCIETY is a movement initiated in 2017. It is supported by an open community of economic and societal actors (investment agencies, enterprises, innovation hubs, start-ups, NGOs, etc.) from Europe and Mediterranean countries. It aims to strengthen innovation ecosystems and develop value creation as well as concrete solutions for shared prosperity in the Mediterranean, and tomorrow, in Africa. The initiative is co-financed with €7 million from the European Union to deploy a 4- year pilot action plan. Until 2020, THE NEXT SOCIETY will directly reach more than 190 incubators, accelerators and clusters, and 300 growth companies, and will support nearly 60 technology transfer offices in their offers.