By Faranak Bakhtiari

A swift move towards knowledge-based economy

April 3, 2022 - 16:24

TEHRAN – Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei designated the Iranian New Year (1401) as “The Year of Production: Knowledge-Based and Job-Creating”.

Strengthening knowledge-based companies is on the agenda, raising hope for reducing obstacles on the path to development.

The Leader has called on all Iranians, including citizens and government officials, to work hard to boost knowledge-based production and create new jobs.

Meanwhile, Ali Kheiroddin, the deputy minister of science for technology and innovation, has said that by 2026, the share of the knowledge-based economy in the national GDP should reach 50 percent, but now it is 3 percent. “So, we must strive to increase this figure to above 5 percent.”

Referring to the Leader’s emphasis on doubling the number of knowledge-based companies, he noted that in this regard, the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology has special programs, including supporting knowledge-based products.

Technological ideas with one to four TRLs (technology readiness levels), should present laboratory samples and then promote them to semi-industrial samples in science and technology parks to mass produce, in this direction the role of the Ministry of Science is very important, he explained.

Referring to 49 science and technology parks in the country, he said that currently, 224 accelerators and about 10,600 technology units have been set up in the country, while 6,700 knowledge-based companies have been formed, 4,500 of which are manufacturing and service companies.

He stated that the number of knowledge-based companies located in science and technology parks is 1,700, which should be managed by the Ministry of Science, and expressed hope that with the support of knowledge-based firms, the unemployment problem of the graduates will be eliminated.

Emphasizing that knowledge-based companies have directly created about 400,000 jobs, Kheiroddin noted that “65,000 knowledge-based jobs have been created in science and technology parks, which should greatly increase.”

Pointing to the award of the "Technology Grant" as an example of a support program, he highlighted that those postgraduate students who have a dissertation or a doctoral dissertation will receive financial support.

In addition, the implementation of the "Technology Assistant" project started 3 months ago, during which science and technology parks will host university students interested in the field of technology and will receive salaries for 6 months.

Moreover, the student scholarship scheme for knowledge-based companies is another project of the Ministry of Science in which knowledge-based companies are persuaded to provide scholarships to students.

Ali Vahdat, Chairman of the Innovation and Prosperity Fund also said that in the last three years, we have tried to provide diverse financial services, such as mortgage deposit facilities, research and development grants, co-investment, issuance of innovation papers, etc.

It is necessary to strengthen the financial resources of the fund, as emphasized by the members of parliament, and the government is determined to develop knowledge-based businesses, he emphasized.

The Innovation and Prosperity Fund has paid a total of 240 trillion rials (nearly $960 million) to support knowledge-based companies over the last [Iranian calendar] year (March 2021-March 2022).

The share of knowledge-based companies in the country's economy has exceeded 9 quadrillion rials (about $34 billion), and since 2019, it has experienced a growth of more than 450 percent, he stated.

The knowledge-based ecosystem is a newly-emerged ecosystem but has so far been able to solve many of the country's problems.

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