Arab Regional Meeting on IP, Innovation Incubators and Techno Parks
November 30 and December 1, 2022
The Regional Meeting was co-organized by WIPO and the League of Arab States (LAS) and had as its objectives:
- To discuss the landscape of existing innovation structures in the Arab Region, their role in the ecosystem and main services provided to their residents and stakeholders;
- To share the best practices in the development and management of innovation incubators and techno parks in the Arab Region and elsewhere;
- To give an overview of existing support programs provided by WIPO, regional and international organizations;
- To create connections and networking opportunities among regional techno parks and facilitate their collaboration with similar innovation structures outside of the Region.
More than 40 representatives from the League of Arab States, as well as incubators and techno parks in the region attended the meeting.
The event was opened by Mr. Walid Abdelnasser, Director, Division for Arab Countries, Regional and National Development Sector, WIPO, and Ms. Maha Bakheet, Director, Legal Division, League of Arab States (LAS), Egypt.
The participating WIPO team included Ms. Olga Spasic, Head, Technology Transfer Section, IP for Innovators Department (IPID), IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector; Amr Abdelaziz, Counsellor, Division for Arab Countries, Regional and National Development Sector; and Ms. Olga Kusanova, Consultant, Technology Transfer Section, IP for Innovators Department (IPID), IP and Innovation Ecosystems Sector.
The event highlighted the significant achievements of national incubators and technology parks in the Arab region, in developing the scale of their networks and services. Participating speakers included Mr. Mohammed Aljafari, Director of Intellectual Property Commercialisation Office at iPARK, the Royal Scientific Society, in Jordan; and Ms. Monia Jendoubi, Head of Entrepreneurship and Business Development Department, Smart Tunisian Technoparks, Elgazala Technopark in Tunisia.
In addition, Ms. Gordana Danilović Grković, Acting Director of Science Technology Park Belgrade (STP) Belgrade in Serbia, and Ms. Jelena Petrovic, Business support coordinator of STP, presented the successful case study of the STP, with particular focus on the new program for young start-ups “Raising Stars”.
Ms. Maha Bakheet, on behalf of LAS, informed about the activities and resources, which they provide to support national incubators and technology parks in Member States. These include recent resolutions adopted at the 2022 Arab Summit in Algeria on the creation of a network of incubators to support innovators in the Arab world, establishing an innovation prize and an Arab fund to support startups, youth empowerment, and support for regional cooperation in the area of innovation.
WIPO's role in assisting the Arab region to build and strengthen innovation structures through long-term national projects, such as the TTO projects in Tunisia and Egypt or the national IP policy projects in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia, has been recognized and appreciated as a valuable contribution to the innovative growth and development of Member States.
The Technology Transfer Section, WIPO, presented technology transfer specialized resources, in particular, the "Guide on Incentives for Researchers and TTO Staff" and the results of the Survey, covering responses from about 755 professionals worldwide (5 continents) on internal and external motivation factors for researchers and technology managers to take an active role in TT processes.
Dr. Nibal Idlebi, Director of Innovation at United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) in Lebanon, presented Innovation Models for Accelerating the Achievement of SDGs, as well as conducted studies, including, among others, Four Packages of Recommendations for Arab countries and Innovation and Leadership Opportunities and Challenges for Arab Youth and Women.
The event concluded with a consensus for continued regional cooperation, inter-regional networking and exchange of best practices on a regular base. Stakeholders requested the follow-up capacity-building projects and programs.