Berytech, with the support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Lebanon, organized the first edition of the Cleantech Innovation Day (CID) with more than 500 people signing up for the virtual event including entrepreneurs, engineers, innovators, investors, cleantech sector players and professionals, as well as post-graduate students, academics, and researchers.
In his opening notes, Berytech’s Chairman and CEO, Maroun N. Chammas mentioned: “For the past two years, we’ve been initiating and celebrating innovation in the agri-food sector through the Agri-food Innovation Days, and here we are this year, despite the global pandemic and the tragic events Lebanon is facing, still finding ways to innovate and set a strong infrastructure for our local and regional entrepreneurs. Together we have started a nationwide agri-tech movement, and we aim to repeat this success within the clean-tech industry.”
In his part Ambassador of the Netherlands to Lebanon, H.E Hans Peter van der Woude stated: “Nobody would be surprised that the clean technology industry is booming worldwide, and it may have been started a bit hesitantly as an answer to growing climate change concern, but it has been proven to be a business case as well. In Lebanon’s case, previous experience with the Agrytech program has shown that this can be a starting point for profitable businesses in Lebanon, some of the many challenges in the county such as the long-standing energy crisis are major reasons why the private and public sectors need to look for creative and innovative solutions to further rely on renewable and sustainable energy resources.”
The Cleantech Innovation Day was moderated by Lara El Khoury – Deputy Director of the ACT Smart Innovation Hub Initiative who spoke about the activities of ACT Smart in “taking challenges in energy solid waste management, and weight wastewater management transportation, and agriculture and transforming them into opportunities for innovation growth job creation and hope for better future. All this will would not have been possible without the renewed trust and the generous support of the kingdom of the Netherlands.”
During his intervention, Ramy Boujawdeh, Deputy GM of Berytech, stated: “With what Lebanon is passing through these days we believe that the future is in the hand of youth, innovators who would look at the crisis and turn it into opportunity. The Act Smart Innovation Hub is a base and a connector across all the programs that we have. This is also a call to everybody who is excited to be part of this change, to join our revolution, and to focus on that green and circular economy that we are looking to build with all the innovators, change-makers, and stakeholders in our society.”
Panel Discussion for the Cleantech Sector
The event hosted a panel discussion titled ‘Challenges and Policy Recommendations for the Cleantech sector- Findings of the Think Tanks’. It is based on working groups on Waste, Energy, and Water and on the white papers developed on all three sectors by the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs of the American University of Beirut. Berytech had brought the institution on board to support the process of ecosystem development and work on proposing policy reforms and establishing lobbying and coordination structures that would impact the Lebanese economy in the long run.
The panel presented reforms and policy actions that ministries, public institutions and governmental bodies discussed their applicability and how to take necessary steps towards their implementation.
The panel hosted:
- Pierre El Khoury, the General Director and President of the Board of the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC)
- Suzy Hoayek, Advisor at the Minister of Energy and Water
- Bassam Sabbagh, Head of Urban Environment Service at the Ministry of Environment
- Marc Ayoub, Energy Researcher and Program Coordinator at AUB Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs
- Georges Gharios, Water Consultant at Waterlution, Canada
- Nisrine Hougeiry, Director of Environment Division at LACECO Architects and Engineers
Cleanergy Accelerator Program Startup Demo
Eight startups from Cleantech Accelerator Program presented their solutions for the first time to the public. The startups have been working hard for the last year to develop their solutions solving cleantech challenges across the entire value chain, using science and technology, with the plan to scale internationally.
The teams were introduced by Mario Ramadan – Accelerator Program Manager, and Joelle Atallah– Investment Specialist, who have worked with them from the day they enrolled in the Cleanergy Program:
GARBALISER works on converting food waste into fertilizer through an anaerobic digester cooperating with municipalities to gather the organic waste from local households
GoParkly promises a seamless parking solution for everyone. Powered by a state-of-the-art AI engine and a cloud-based platform, GoParkly provides two main products: GoParkly App and GoParkly Dashboard.
Plastc Lab takes plastic waste and reforms it through a circular model. Using plastic sheets, beams, and block products, Plastic Lab builds interior pieces and construction materials.
Rebornathletes.com created solutions for the inefficient usage of resources in manufacturing fabrics and apparel. Their core mission is to create sustainable activewear that fits like a cloud on the conscience and the body so you can move guilt-free.
Nadeera is a social enterprise that provides digital solutions for solid waste management. The startup works with property managers, municipalities, and waste management companies to deploy holistic waste management master plans enabled by its tech solutions and proprietary waste-to-household attribution technology.
Hadeer is a mobility service platform that allows users to find, track, and book a seat on buses to reach their destination. Users are provided with on-bus features such as free Wi-Fi, climate control, and a clean and comfortable journey.
BIOwayste helps commercial entities grow sustainable businesses by offering them a decentralized system to treat their organic waste on-site. The simple and natural biodegradation process produces biogas that is used as cooking gas and a biofertilizer used as a substitute for synthetic fertilizer.
Diwama is introducing Artificial Intelligence into waste management to drive recycling revenues. Diwama’s product “Vitron” is an AI-based image recognition software providing automated waste analysis for waste sorting and recycling facilities.
Read more about the Demo Day here.
ACT Smart Innovation Hub
The Virtual Cleantech Innovation Day 2021 was organized under the ACT Smart Innovation Hub initiative, a new out-of-the-box approach by Berytech and co-funded by the Kingdom of The Netherlands, aimed at strengthening business advancement, economic growth and job creation in the Agri-food and Cleantech sectors in Lebanon.
The ACT Smart Innovation Hub initiative runs over 36 months from September 2019 to August 2022. It includes two accelerator programs – Agrytech and Cleanergy, it aims to create 200 direct job opportunities and 400 indirect job opportunities with at least 50% linked to youth and 25% linked to women.
Through the innovation hub, Berytech continues its support of the QOOT Agri-Food Innovation Cluster, accompanying its members in their innovation strategies and competitiveness, ultimately leading to efficiency and quality exports from Lebanon.
Berytech is also working closely with academia and research institutes on converting Intellectual Property into commercialized solutions. Berytech is also proposing policy reforms and establishing lobbying and coordination structures that will last beyond the lifetime of the initiative. All the above is being done using Lebanese and Dutch know-how and expertise throughout the process.