Berytech launched the Global Entrepreneurship week (GEW) in Lebanon at Bosa Nova Hotel, Beirut on November 10th by showcasing the impact of its NEX-LABS project. The event was organized in collaboration with Asher Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ACIE). This event was part of the worldwide GEW movement that commemorates entrepreneurship in every country and community around the world, where players in the entrepreneurship ecosystem take part in tens of thousands of activities, competitions, and events that inspire entrepreneurs to act and provide them with the knowledge, experience, and connections they need to succeed. This particular event aimed to highlight the importance of entrepreneurship by showcasing Berytech’s newly concluded projects, NEX-LABS and CLUSTER4GREEN.
NEX-LABS x GEW: A Dynamic Partnership
As a project co-funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Program, NEX-LABS is an international consortium of 11 partners from 7 different countries across the Mediterranean that joined forces to tackle the challenges of competitive and inclusive growth thanks to a nexus-driven approach.
“GEW is an important week, and it has been something that we have been celebrating in Lebanon for quite some time. This year holds a very special place because we are seeing a new ecosystem being strengthened again as well as the players that are joining it.”
Expressed Ramy BouJawdeh, COO of Berytech
Three-Years of Impact on The WEF Nexus Sector
Throughout the event, NEX-LABS’ impact on the Water Food Energy (WEF) Nexus sector was highlighted by recapping the different activities and forms of support offered throughout the project.
In the past three years, the NEX-LABS project supported 18 entrepreneurial teams from Lebanon, Jordan, Tunisia, Cyprus, and Spain through a 5-day summer school. Berytech, in collaboration with four partners, implemented 21 vouchers to aid innovators in testing and accelerating their WEF Nexus innovations, accessing market opportunities, and creating two spinoffs from research. The initiative also included the organization of 5 circular conferences and 5 entrepreneurs’ corner spaces, fostering innovation, knowledge sharing, and collaborative growth throughout the project.
Renewable Energy & Program Specialist, Youssef Yammine discussed the significance of NEX-LABS and the synergy created between it and the CLUSTER4GREEN program by saying:
“The true magic happens when we view these programs as two pieces of a larger puzzle. Together, they form a holistic approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Our programs have not only supported green entrepreneurs in our regions but have also contributed to the improvement towards a more sustainable, resilient future.
In addition to commemorating the programs’ impact, the event included panel discussions on the WEF-NEXUS Solutions: Emphasizing a Holistic Approach in Lebanon and the Region.
The WEF-NEXUS panel discussion was moderated by Senior Program Officer, Mira Chammas, who hosted experts from across the value chain including Mr. Jawad Taher, Water & Development Advisor, Ms. Pamela Saber, Investment Facilitation Manager, and Mr. Saad Maacaron, Business Development Manager, to provide insights on the local dimensions of the Water-Energy-Food NEXUS sector.
NEX-LABS is a project co-funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme and has the goal to set up a Strategy for Sustainable Development focusing on the NEXUS of Water, Energy, and Food (WEF) in the MENA region.
NEX-LABS project aims to support the implementation of clean technologies for the sustainable and resilient growth of agri-food sector production based on more efficient use of energy (renewable/solar solutions) and water (wastewater treatment, water harvesting, or reuse solutions) in Mediterranean Partner Countries region thanks to the contribution of ICT such as blockchain technology, Internet of the Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and Big Data.
NEX-LABS targeted territories, characterized by water scarcity and both an irregular rainfall and population distribution, reflect agriculture as the largest user of water (70-90%) while future global warming projections (≈2ºC) are expected to cause a decrease in summer precipitation (-10/-30%), threatening water availability (-2/-15%) and agricultural productivity (-12/-40%). The latent conflict between energy efficiency (≈60%) and water production is also increasing the energy footprint/m3 of water used to produce food. The predicted shortfalls in Water/Energy/Food (WEF) require a NEXUS approach, which means integrated management and governance of these natural resources.
NEX-LABS project includes a partnership of 11 institutions (Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain), Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Center Tunisia), Royal Scientific Society- Aqaba Liaison Center (JO), Berytech Foundation (LB), INNOLABS SRL (IT), Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (EG), American University of Beirut (LB), Centre for promotional services to enterprises – Special Agency of Cagliari Chamber of Commerce (IT), Net7 Srl (IT), C.I.P Citizens In Power (CY), The Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development /Princess Basma Community Development Centre Aqaba (JO)) from 7 different countries across the Mediterranean. The project is funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC Med Programme. With a total budget of €3.450.984,97, the project has received a contribution of € 3.105.866,47 (90%).