By Setareh Behroozi

National Foundation for the Talented supports return of expat experts: VP

August 11, 2018

TEHRAN – Iran’s National Foundation for the Talented supports the return of Iranian expat experts to their homeland, the foundation’s president and the vice president for science and technology said in an interview with the Tehran Times on August 5.

“We guarantee the return of Iranian expat experts who come back to their country through the National Foundation for the Talented,” Sourena Sattari said.

He announced during the past three years, some 1,100 Iranian experts have returned to their motherland.

The vice president for science and technology said that Iran has connections with a plenty of professional experts abroad who work at renowned universities and institutions.

“Up to now our expat expert network has more than 10,000 members, to whom we make contact whenever we face a problem,” he explained.

“Up to now our expat expert network has more than 10,000 members, to whom we make contact whenever we face a problem.”He said that knowledge economy is dependent on individual, hence the Iranian expat experts are an asset. 

Many of Iranian expat experts travel to Iran to give lectures or give advice to companies and institutions, Sattari added.

He extolled foreign experts who search for market in other countries for their services and products. However, he said, this is not what science and technology quests for.
 “We search for experts who help us to solve a problem not a businessman who want to sell his products,” he explained.

The foundation and the presidential department for science and technology plan to expand cooperation with expat experts.

With the support of the foundation and science and technology department, a total of 67 universities, knowledge enterprises, technology parks and incubators implemented a plan in cooperation with Iranian expat entrepreneurs.

Tehran, a great place for startups 

Sattari also said the whole city of Tehran is actually considered as a big science and technology park.

Housing about 16 million population, Tehran is a great market for startups, he said.

“Nowadays we should earn money from technology. Industries like oil and steel are not considered as technology,” he said.

Sattari said that an independent economy is the result of entrepreneurship.

The future of Tehran is dependent on innovation and powerful universities should pave the way for creation of an innovative smart city, the vice president remarked.

“High ranking universities of Iran are mostly located in Tehran. This creates a great opportunity for entrepreneurship by university students.” 

For instance, there are already 450 technological companies working at the Sharif University of Technology, he said.

“This does not mean that young entrepreneurs in other cities of Iran cannot be successful, there is a great capacity for startups and entrepreneurship in all parts of the country,” he added.

Government supports startups 

The government supports research and ideas, which are preliminaries for the startups and provide a suitable market for them, he said.

Sattari said that the government does not involved in marketing process for products and services provided by the startups.

If the government gives the startups money [irregularly], they will be accustomed to sponge it off, he said.

Sponging off the money corrupt every industry and economy, he lamented.

Sattari extolled knowledge enterprises, which has high efficiency in comparison with state-run research institutions. 

A knowledge-based companies establish an acceleration center, which has 17 outputs during two past years, he said.

On the other hand, some state-run research organizations does not have any outcome during past ten years, he added.  

Technology is inevitable

No one can go against technology, although it may not be in line with some laws in the country, Sattari said.

He named bitcoin as one of technological achievements, which no government agree with but it improves in cyberspace, he said.
 
“However we cannot stop technological achievements since people support them,” he added.

Some everyday problems like waste, environment and pollution and that the society deals with and they cannot be solved by the governments, he said. 

Startups can solve these problems and in addition they can create jobs and income, Sattari explained.

Each department of the vice presidency deals with one or two new projects which are going to become marketable in coming five to ten years, he said.

“Food and electronic health are our priorities for the activity of startups in the future,” he concluded.

SB/MG

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