Third Iran-Austria efficient technologies and mining working group meeting held in Tehran

December 11, 2017

The third efficient technologies and mining working group meeting was held in Tehran with the presence of deputy chief for international affairs and technology exchange at the office vice president for science and technology and a delegation from the Austrian ministry of science and research and economy. The meeting was supervised by Gudrun Henn, director for international cooperation projects and technology exports from Austria, and the Austrian Ambassador to Tehran Stefan Scholz. 

After the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between Iran and 5+1 countries, once more the economic cooperation commission of Iran and Austria was formed. According to the documents signed at the commission, a five year roadmap (2016-2020) for collaboration between the two countries was drafted to implement the previously concluded projects. The roadmap includes several working groups, including efficient technologies and mining working group that management of them was delegated to the office of vice president for science and technology by the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade. The working group was mainly established to observe mega trends and trends in technology advances in the international arena and to help new technologies transfer in three areas of green technologies in environment, renewable energies and mining. To this end, the efficient technologies and mining working group prepared an action plan (2016-2020) for following up and paving the way for guiding the defined projects.

This action plan includes more than 50 measures, up to now 30 of which have been implemented or are at the final stages.

The third meeting of efficient technologies and mining working group was held on November 28-29, 2017 at the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology (VPST) with the purposes of monitoring new projects, eliminating the barriers to the implementation of some cases and defining an execution mechanism for some of the projects. 

In this round, representatives of the Austrian ministry of science and research and economy along with a number of Austrian companies and the representative of the AIT (Austrian Technology Institute) had meetings with their Iranian counterparts. The results of these meetings were announced to the deputy director for international affairs and technology in the form of a report. In terms of the measures taken in this area, Ali Morteza Birang said: the existence of a five-year action plan from 2016 to 2020 is a beneficial phenomenon.

In addition to considering the role of the Austrian embassy in the regulation of relations between the two countries, Birang requested the ambassador of Austria to specifically follow up the solving of financial and banking problems, such as bank guarantees, money transactions and mutual insurances’ cooperation. In this regard, he affirmed such problems interrupt the execution process of projects. Therefore, we expect the Austrian embassy can pave the way and help to eliminate these problems in the shortest possible time.

Birang also demanded effective role-playing of Advantage Austria (Austrian Commercial Section) to inform and call Austrian companies and private sectors to participate in INOTEX 2018 exhibition. He also said VPST is ready to allocate a pavilion to Austria private sector in INOTEX 2018 exhibition. He added we will be pleased if Advantage Austria take the management of Austrian pavilion in INOTEX 2018.

The deputy director for international affairs and technology exchange regarded the presence of Austrian companies in Iran as a step toward the elimination of previously missed opportunities.

Use of the capacities of startups in Iran is a requirement.

During the meeting, Ambassador Scholz stated that it is encouraging to have a five-year action plan between Iran and Austria. He added: we need to closely monitor the proper implementation of programs and ensure that the programs are in compliance with the condition of Iran.

Ambassador Scholz continued: Iran is one of the most powerful countries in the region and has great young human resources, for which new occupations must be formed. In this regard, he said, boosting and strengthening small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) could contribute to the creation of jobs in the country. 

Pointing to the high capacity of startups in Iran, Ambassador Scholz asserted: exploitation of the high capacity of startups is a requirement. Therefore, they must be used in the development of economy, production of value, wealth and development of SMEs. The Austrian ambassador regarded the use of the high capacities of startups as a solution for creating job for the Iranian youth and announced Austria’s readiness for cooperation with Iran in this field.

He also said: Austria is ready to host Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the first quarter of 2018. I hope H.E. Dr. Rouhani’s next travel to Vienna leads to extended and deepened relations between the two countries.

In this respect, Ambassador Scholz added, the Austrian embassy plans to create a proper condition for concluding more contracts and documents between private owned companies and two governments to deepen technological collaboration.

At the end, Ahmadreza Alaei Tabatabaei, director-general of the Technology Exchange Office, presented a report on the follow-up of the joint projects specified between the two countries.

Following that, the representative of AIT presented a report on the initiation of defined educational courses and cooperation with the Center for Innovation and Technology Cooperation of the Presidency, stating that some of the goals of this agreement has been realized. Another issue discussed by the mentioned representative was defining a new mechanism in the application of the capacity of supportive and research funds of Austria.

According to the reports, a joint cooperation was defined between Austria and Pardis Technology Park (PTP), which is decided to be evaluated by Advantage Austria.
During the meeting, the representative of mining department announced Austrian readiness in bilateral cooperation with I.R. Iran Geology Organization in areas of “Exploration of Karstic Water Resources” and “Processing Air-born Geophysical Data Information”.

In addition, the representative of Iranian Mines and Mining Industries and Renovation Organization (IMIDRO) declared both sides have aimed to conclude joint projects in areas of “technology transfer in the area of mining machinery and mining industries” and “research and development studies and holding educational courses on the processing minerals” with Austrian counterpart during the next Joint Economic Commission in the next year.

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