First intl. innovation center to open in Tehran

July 7, 2021 - 18:35

TEHRAN – The first international innovation center of Iran will open next week in Tehran, ISNA reported on Wednesday.

The center, called Yas, will be inaugurated by Ahl Al Bayt University in cooperation with the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology, on Sunday.

Supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem, facilitating the process of commercialization of knowledge-based ideas, creating employment, and empowering Muslim students in the knowledge-based economy are among the goals of the center, which seeks to establish contacts with educational and research centers in the Islamic world and attract talented Muslim students across the world.

Accordingly, this innovation center intends to play a key role in empowering and developing the cultural and economic development of Muslims around the world by attracting, organizing, managing, and synergizing accelerators, startups, technology companies, and knowledge-based companies.

Iran improves rank in global innovation index

Knowledge-based companies and creative startups have grown over the past five years, and Iran has risen 45 places in the Global Innovation Index, according to the UNESCO 2021 Report.

The Global Innovation Index in Iran from 2015 to 2019 has risen from 106 to 61 with continuous improvement, showing 45 steps growth.

The development of accelerators and innovation centers over the last five years has led to a rapid increase in startups and knowledge-based companies.

Between 2014 and 2017, exports of knowledge-based goods grew by a factor of five, before slumping in 2018 after the U.S. withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (2015), commonly referred to as the nuclear deal, and re-imposed sanctions.

The report states that innovation in Iran has developed rapidly over the past five years, and by the end of last year, 49 accelerators and 113 innovation centers had provided services to start-ups with the participation of the private sector.

Technology development in Iran

Despite sanctions putting pressure on the country, a unique opportunity was provided for business development and the activity of knowledge-based companies in the country.

Currently, some 5,000 knowledge-based companies are active in the country, manufacturing diverse products to meet the needs of the domestic market while saving large amounts of foreign currency.

The fields of aircraft maintenance, steel, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment, oil, and gas are among the sectors that researchers in technology companies have engaged in, leading to import reduction.

Vice President for Science and Technology Sourena Sattari told the Tehran Times in October 2020 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).

Fortunately, last year, companies achieved a record sale of 1.2 quadrillion rials (nearly $28.5 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials), which is expected to increase by 40 percent this year.”

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