QOOT: Lebanon Agrifood Innovation Cluster

Posted on November 1, 2021

QOOT Cluster was launched in February 2019 and now has over 70 innovative Lebanese agri-food companies”

QOOT Gathering October 1200 x 628

Members of the QOOT Cluster gathered in an immersive networking event to work on strengthening  potential  future collaboration between the cluster’s members and the partners.

The QOOT Cluster was initiated by Berytech and funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Lebanon, in partnership with Ecosystem Navigator and FoodValley, providing initial support to the launching of the cluster, to resolve and equip Lebanon with the resources and processes that have made the Netherlands one of the leading agricultural innovators and food exporters worldwide. The vision is to lead the agri-food innovation scene in the region and put Lebanon back on the global agri-food innovation map.

RE-ENFORCING COLLABORATION

QOOT Cluster brings together SMEs and existing companies in Lebanon’s agri-food sector, creating a synergistic environment that fosters innovation, collaboration, prosperity, and growth. QOOT Cluster’s core objective is to bring Lebanese agri-food industries on par with the most innovative economies in the world, thus reclaiming Lebanon’s place on the World Food Innovation Map.

The cluster organized an event in October 2021, at Berytech, gathering prominent Lebanese Agri-food businesses. During the event, QOOT Cluster President and COO at Robinson Agri, Nadine El Khoury emphasized on the importance of unity and the power of advancing the agri-food sector through unity and common goals. Ramy Boujawdeh, Deputy General Manager at Berytech, stated: “QOOT Cluster has brought together Lebanese entrepreneurs, agri-food companies, support institutions, service providers, joined in one cluster to build on collaboration to combine assets and efforts for a sustainable growth and internationalization of the Lebanese agri-food sector”.

Café Abi Nasr – Western Cup, Eshmoon, Boecker, Grapeful, Riachy vineyards, Colonel Beer, Em el Khayrat, and Smart Gourmet catered to the attendees with a mix of their innovative products.

QOOT Cluster was launched in February 2019 and now has over 70 innovative Lebanese agri-food companies of all sizes, all committed to joining forces and accelerating the sustainable growth of Lebanon’s agricultural sector.

CREATING OPPORTUNITIES

QOOT Cluster works on matchmaking, networking, providing opportunities for potential collaboration with international and local markets. The Cluster’s members had the opportunity to join several events and talks through QOOT Cluster. They had the opportunity to attend international exhibitions such as the MACFRUT Fair in Rimini, Italy in September 2021, and the “Specialty and Fine Food Fair” organized at the Olympia in London, to acquire additional knowledge and trends of new markets, meeting new partners, and gaining visibility on an international scale.

Moreover, QOOT Cluster members had the opportunity to join several webinars organized jointly with several Embassies of Lebanon around the globe such as ‘The Opportunities to Export to Kuwait’ matchmaking event, with the Embassy of Lebanon to the State of Kuwait, to link Lebanese food producers and innovators to the Kuwait market; “The Food and Beverage Industry: Opportunities between the UK and Lebanon”, hosted jointly with the Embassy of Lebanon in the United Kingdom and the support of Berytech presenting opportunities to export and access new market in the United Kingdom. In addition, QOOT Cluster members were able to exhibit and showcase their Lebanese innovations during The Lebanon Food Show USA 2020, organized by the Embassy of Lebanon in Washington, with the participation of more than 30 SMEs from Lebanon. Also, the members participated in a webinar on “Lebanese products: a new pathway to China” in collaboration with the Ministry of Economy and Trade and the Lebanese Embassy in Beijing to support Lebanese agri-food companies access the Chinese market.

As part of its mission to bring together MSMEs, multinational companies, knowledge providers, support institutions, and investment entities to collaboratively catalyze and innovate in the agri-food sector in Lebanon, QOOT Cluster partnered with several governmental and non-governmental organizations with similar objectives and missions such as BIEEL, Laboratories for the Environment, Agriculture and Food (LEAF), World Food Innovations, Fair Trade Lebanon, to strengthen synergies for a greater impact in the Lebanese agri-food sector, aiming to deliver more efficient services in the sector. The cluster partnered with four different universities: American University of Beirut – Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Balamand, American University of Science and Technology, and University Saint Joseph – ESIAM, to benefit from the latest development of innovative solutions in the Agri-food sector and from technology transfer through these partnerships.

In addition, QOOT Cluster is a member of the European Cluster Collaboration Platform, has received the European Cluster Excellence Label in Bronze to develop collaboration within Europe, support the emergence of new value chains through cross-sectorial cooperation, access to the latest quality information on cluster development, and to improve their performance and increase their competitiveness.

WHO CAN JOIN THE QOOT CLUSTER

QOOT Cluster is open to every Lebanese agri-food business as well as service providers that shares their vision to make innovation the norm in this sector. QOOT Cluster members consist of small, medium and large enterprises dealing in food production, input supplies, processing, distribution, marketing, technology, and retail, among other verticals. QOOT’s associate members consist of consultancy firms, law firms, laboratories for food safety analysis, financing and auditing firms, insurance companies, certification bodies, and PR, Marketing & communication firms.

QOOT Cluster is igniting change and driving emerging markets with world-class developments and advanced manufacturing.

Learn more about QOOT Cluster: https://qoot.org/