On March 8, 2023, Berytech launched Lebanon Innovate, a 42-month EU-funded program aimed at fostering innovation and supporting intellectual property and knowledge transfer in Lebanon. The program is funded by the European Union, coordinated by Berytech and implemented by five strategic organizations: ANIMA Investment Network, European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN), Industrial Research Achievement Association – Lebanon (IRALEB), Industrial Research Institute (IRI), and LEITAT.
The launch event was held at the Smallville Hotel in Beirut, and featured talks by Lea Polony Program Manager at the European Commission, Maroun Chammas, Chairman and CEO of Berytech, Krystel Khalil, Program Director at Berytech, and representatives from the program partners: Aurelien Baudoin, Director Network and Development at ANIMA; Florian Sora, Certification and Impact Manager at EBN; Sergio Ibáñez, New Markets Director at LEITAT; Sandra Sarkis, Lebanon Softshore Manager at IRI, and Fabienne Balaa, Executive Director at IRALEB.
Additionally, Mr. Mohab Anis, CEO of Innovety, spoke about Lebanon’s innovation and technology transfer context, and a panel discussion was held on enhancing industry-academia collaboration to reinforce the productive sector’s competitiveness and commercialization of innovation. The panel was moderated by Ramy Boujawdeh, COO of Berytech in discussion with Dany Abboud, CEO TopCat S.A.L and Member of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists; Dr. Yousif Asfour, Chief Innovation and Transformation Officer at AUB; Richard Maroun, Professor at USJ and Antoine Rizk, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Agrofitt.
“As you very well know small and medium enterprises are the backbone of Lebanon’s economy and in the current context are in dire need of support. In the past decade, the EU has been committed to promoting an enabling environment for business development including business support services, investment, and innovation, and encouraging SMEs to grow both locally and on the international markets. We also believe that the private sector is and continues to be a pivotal contributor to the economic recovery of Lebanon,” said Polony in her speech.
A Program Centered Nurturing Innovation Through Intellectual Property and Knowledge Transfer
The Lebanon Innovate program aims to support the transformation of innovations and technological findings from universities into market-ready products and commercial ventures in Lebanon’s major sectors, which include agriculture and food, ICT and digital economy, and healthcare. The program seeks to improve sector competitiveness, promote innovation and knowledge transfer, and establish linkages and exchanges with European countries and diaspora networks to access international markets.
In his speech, Maroun Chammas confirmed: “I do not doubt that Lebanon Innovate will be a resounding success thanks to the efforts of our partners and our shared mission to make Lebanon a knowledge-driven digital nation at the forefront of innovation. Although some may view this as an unattainable goal, we are confident that our program, and every program that Berytech designs and implements, can turn challenges into opportunities for the Lebanese innovators we support.”
Empowering Intermediate Organizations and the Lebanese Innovation Ecosystem
Throughout the program’s duration, Berytech and its partners will work towards building an enabling Intellectual Property & Knowledge Transfer Ecosystem in Lebanon, transforming academic innovations into commercial ventures, enabling collaborations between industry and academia, contributing to sustainable economic recovery and job creation, and building linkages with regional and European markets.
In 42 months, Lebanon Innovate will offer various opportunities including IPR and innovation capacity building, grants of €180K to develop Lebanese Technology Transfer offices and €100K for researchers, launching of three Knowledge Innovation Communities, managing National Innovation Programs, providing access to European markets through matchmaking and soft-landing and, building national and international innovation platforms for Lebanon while empowering 40+ deans, 30+ R&D industry representatives, 15+ lawyers and creating 20+ spin-offs.
The program invites universities, research centers, policymakers, SMEs, clusters, industrialists, and entrepreneurs to join and grow together as the Lebanese knowledge community. For more information, please visit LebanonInnovate.com.