Supporting Innovation in the Agri-Food & Cleantech Sectors in Lebanon

The ACT Smart Innovation Hub is a new out-of-the-box approach by Berytech aimed at strengthening business advancement and job creation in the Agri-food and Cleantech sectors in Lebanon.

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About the ACT Smart Innovation Hub Initiative

As the name implies, the ACT Smart (Agri-Food & CleanTech) Innovation Hub is a new out-of-the-box approach by Berytech aimed at strengthening business advancement, economic growth and job creation in the Agri-food and Cleantech sectors in Lebanon.

With generous funding from the Kingdom of The Netherlands, and their renewed trust, Berytech is now taking a sector-wide approach for economic growth by stimulating innovators and entrepreneurs to put their creativity and energy at the service of Agri-food and Cleantech sectors and encouraging them to develop local solutions to the environmental and food security challenges faced by the Lebanese and refugee communities.

The Pillars

Berytech has articulated four pillars under the ACT Smart Innovation Hub, all with the support of like-minded organization from the Netherlands.

Acceleration

Converting innovative ideas to growing businesses supporting job creation and economic growth.

Clustering

Strengthening the Agri-Food private Sector, by increasing innovation practices, strengthening resilience, and international competitiveness.

Think Tanks

Supporting the creation of work groups to lobby for better enabling innovation and investment landscape.

IP Valorization

Encouraging the generation and commercialization of Lebanese intellectual property in partnership with leading academic and research institutions

The Approach

The novelty of Berytech’s ACT Smart Innovation Hub approach is fourfold

  • The Cleantech and the Agri-food sectors are not necessarily the most attractive sectors for innovators and entrepreneurs who are otherwise drawn to other sectors or opt for emigration. Bringing their creativity and energy into the ACT Smart Innovation Hub will open new horizons and will prove that things can be done differently.
  • The enabling environment around the Cleantech and the Agri-food sectors is quasi-inexistent, with various actors working in silos despite the obvious added value of collaborations. Creating policy lobbying and business development platforms for these actors to exchange and work collectively under the ACT Smart Innovation Hub will help Berytech in its objective to improve the enabling environment from a sector-wide perspective.
  • The economic policies of the Lebanese government have historically privileged the tertiary sector (provision of services) at the expense of agriculture and industry but are now counting on a “Knowledge Economy” to address the socio-economic problems of the country in the future. The Kingdom of the Netherlands is one of the champions of this knowledge economy and the exchange of experiences with them under the ACT Smart Innovation Hub will inspire the various Lebanese actors to do things differently.
  • There is a growing trend around the world to address systemic social, economic and environmental problems from a “nexus” perspective that accounts for the interrelatedness and interdependencies between different sectors, particularly Food, Energy and Water. Berytech designed ACT Smart as a way to examine this interrelatedness and the interdependencies from a pragmatic hands-on perspective and brings all concerned stakeholders under one broad collaboration umbrella.

Co-funded by The Kingdom of The Netherlands

The Kingdom of The Netherlands has co-funded the initiative over the next two years.

The Netherlands supports programs that are aimed at strengthening the Lebanese social infrastructure and improving prospects for the Lebanese.

Indeed, the current situation in Lebanon shows even more than before that innovation and job creation for youth are needed.

“Berytech’s ACT Smart Innovation Hub offers the opportunity to youth from different parts of Lebanon to work towards a better future for their country.”

H.E. Jan Waltmans – Former Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon

Initiative Details

36 months
Sep. 2019 to Aug. 2022

2
accelerator programs

4
startup batches

200
direct job opportunities

400
indirect job opportunities

50% 
linked to youth

25% 
linked to women

3
Cleantech think tank groups

4
US$25,000 IP grantees

Our Partners & Network Memberships

New like-minded institutions have been brought on board to support the process of ecosystem development: the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs of the American University of Beirut is in charge of hosting the working groups on Waste, Energy and Water, as well as developing a paper on Sustainable Agriculture.

The Euro-Lebanese Centre For Industrial Modernisation (ELCIM) of the National Industrial Research Institute is in charge of mobilizing Academia and Research institutions to work on commercializing IP for Industry.

A set of Memoranda of Understanding are being signed with major universities and professional bodies in view of creating synergies with the different ACT Smart Innovation Hub components, beyond the strict boundaries of the acceleration component. For example, universities will be encouraged to direct final year students in STEM degrees to design their final year projects to benefit from ACT Smart Innovation Hub support.

Implementing Partners

Supporting Partners

Community Partners

Clean Rivers Hub Logo - partners Cleanergy

Meet The Advisory Board

The Advisory Board consists of prominent professionals, with the main role of advising the Program’s administration and assisting in formulating and implementing its strategic priorities. The Board members also play an important role in setting the initiative’s standards and providing feedback on the market. Moreover, the Advisory Board is an integral component of the Initiative’s linkage to the Agri-Food and Cleantech sectors; the members act as ambassadors within their communities and beyond. 

Meet The Team

The team includes professionals in their sectors, backed by Berytech’s community.

Need more info?

If you have any questions about Berytech’s ACT Smart Innovation Hub Initiative, please email us on community@berytech.org, and we will get back to you.

Contributing to SDGs

As a member of the Global Compact Network Lebanon, Berytech enacts the 10 principles of the UNGC and the ACT Smart Innovation Hub Initiative falls under Berytech’s mission to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals.