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Lebanon and Switzerland Meet & Exchange for the Cleantech Industry

 

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Under the “Swiss Innovation Days” context, The Swiss Embassy in Beirut in cooperation with Berytech organized the “Cleantech Innovation Conference and Workshop”, a 2-day program promoting clean technologies and collaboration between two countries on April 21 and 22. The conference was set up to facilitate the cooperation and the exchange of innovations and business models between Swiss and Lebanese companies in the CleanTech industry.

The program opened on Thursday with a series of workshops at Berytech Technology Pole aiming at building business opportunities in the CleanRech sector in Lebanon. The workshops were followed by a seminar under the title of “Cooperation between Public and Private sectors as Tool to Find Innovative and Environmentally Friendly Technologies” covering innovations in clean technology, at USJ and gathering more than 100 participants including professionals, engineers, organizations and stakeholders in the sector

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The seminar featured speeches by the Swiss Secretary of State for Training, Research and Innovation Dell’Ambrogio, Swiss Ambassador H. E. Francois Barras, Chairman and CEO of Berytech Maroun Chammas, and CEO of the Centre Suisse d’Electronique et Microtechnique Mauro al-Khoury. The day concluded with the Watt d’Or exhibition, which showcased the winners of the annual award given by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy to projects that “offer a significant benefit for society.” The exhibition intends to enhance and encourage dialogue and collaboration towards a greener technological development and an extension of markets between Switzerland and the host country.

In his speech Mr. Dell’Ambrogio focused on Switzerland’s decision to develop the sector through public-private partnerships (PPP): “I am very satisfied with the fact that there is cooperation between our research centers and universities. The industry is also heavily involved.”

“Encouraging clean technology is not a choice, it is a priority,” insisted Maroun Chammas, CEO of Berytech, which already supports several start-ups active in this field. “The potential of the CleanTech sector is massive, covering a wide array of green technologies, green industries and green innovations to solve eminent environmental and energy saving challenges. Our aim at this stage is to grow these initiatives and support the startups in scaling their activities and accessing international markets through business collaborations and exchange”, he added.

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The 2nd day of the program covered a BtoB matchmaking event between Lebanese and Swiss companies, at “Le Sofitel Gabriel” hotel and started with presentations from the Swiss companies showcasing their key innovations. During the opening speech, Mr. Ramy Bou Jawdeh, Deputy General Manager of Berytech, stated: “We want the Swiss companies to establish a foothold in Lebanon so that they may sell and distribute their products more easily in the region. We also want to bridge the innovation gap between the countries by integrating some of the patents and technologies the Swiss companies have to offer.”

Ten Swiss delegates detailed some of the technologies and advances being researched and implemented by their respective companies including transparent solar panels, water distribution systems, and specialized insulating cement.Recycling waste energy or energy creation from river water is a service offered by Green Cube, an alternative energy company founded by Daniel Styger. He is positive that Switzerland can help the country of the Cedar to fill its electricity production deficit. “Systems producing alternative energy in Lebanon should be introduced gradually until the power generation becomes stable. The costs are three times lower than diesel generators”, he says.

Innovators and entrepreneurs are invited to benefit from the support ecosystem and networks offered by Berytech, the Swiss embassy and key partners in the CleanTech industry, ranging from incubation to funding, to business support and access to markets, experts and networks.

View full photo album here.