Iranian expatriates participate in technology development

October 31, 2020 - 18:10

TEHRAN – Under the plan on cooperation with Iranian specialists and entrepreneurs abroad, about 140 startup projects have been registered over the past four years.

Cooperation program with Iranian specialists and entrepreneurs abroad is one of the plans designed and implemented by the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology to cooperate with Iranian elites abroad.

One of the basic programs is to create suitable conditions for the attraction of Iranians abroad, including specialists, elites, investors, and entrepreneurs in various businesses since four years ago, but the scope in accordance with the requirements of the time and necessities has become more widespread.

The program attracted 150 people to the technology and innovation ecosystem in the first 6 months of this year (March 21-September 22).

This program is being implemented with the aim of using the scientific and professional capacity of Iranian researchers and specialists and establishing relations with selected scientific, technological, and industrial centers of the country.

This program has been developed by creating an extensive network of specialized databases including the best universities, research institutes, and knowledge-based companies in the country.

According to the latest statistics, more than 120 specialized partner sites have joined the program so far.

Also, over 6,500 successful collaborations have been registered, including, study opportunity, company establishment, and employment in technology companies.

Research and technological projects such as postdoctoral, technology start-ups, and holding lectures and specialized workshops to help Iranian experts abroad communicate effectively with selected science and technology centers, are among the goals of this program.

The government also does not impose special conditions and strictures on the cooperation of Iranians abroad and how they cooperate with knowledge-based companies, so they can cooperate in their country of residence with Iranian universities, research institutes, and knowledge-based companies and take advantage of the incentives provided.

Specialists, investors, or owners of foreign knowledge-based companies in Iran, will be awarded 1.5 billion rials (about $35,000 at the official rate of 42,000 rials) in the first step.

1700 knowledge-based companies operating in Iran

Currently, there are 43 science and technology parks in the country, in addition to 195 growth centers, in which over 7,000 companies are active, among all, 1,700 are knowledge-based companies.

Sourena Sattari, vice president for the science and technology told the Tehran Times in an exclusive interview that Iran is playing the leading role in the region in the fields of fintech, ICT, stem cell, aerospace, and is unrivaled in artificial intelligence.

Fortunately, last year, companies achieved a record sale of 1.2 quadrillion rials (nearly $28.5 billion), which is expected to increase by 40 percent this year.

To date, 42 knowledge-based companies with a total value of 2.8 quadrillion rials (nearly $66.6 billion) have been listed on the stock exchange and they will soon turn into the biggest businesses in the county," he said.

Sattari said that U.S. sanctions caused exports of knowledge-based companies to decline three years ago, however, it has returned to growth and is projected to reach the pre-sanctions level of more than $1 billion by the end of the current [Iranian calendar] year (March 20, 2021).

Mehdi Kashmiri, director for technology and planning at the science ministry, said in July that about 450 knowledge-based companies were active in the country for manufacturing protective equipment and treatment products to fight the coronavirus.

Production of more than one million face masks per day, production of more than 1.5 liters of disinfectants per day, diagnostic kits, non-contact thermometers, protective clothing, ventilator are among the produces manufactured by these companies, he added.

Iranian-made innovative products in the field of diagnosis, screening, and fighting coronavirus were also unveiled to combat the disease, namely, ozone generator, nanotechnology face shields, disinfection gate, and molecular COVID-19 diagnostic kits.

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