By Mahnaz Abdi

Knowledge-based companies to help car industry nullify sanctions

February 22, 2020 - 17:12

While Iran is considering knowledge-based economy a strong tool to compensate for the losses caused by the sanctions, the country is seriously supporting knowledge-based companies and startups, also cementing relationship between domestic universities and industry sector.

Regarding the necessity of promoting domestic production under the sanctions and all the endeavors that different sectors are taking for indigenizing technology of manufacturing their required products, one can understand that why the knowledge-based companies are taking the center stage in Iran’s industry sector.

Signing numerous indigenizing agreements with the knowledge-based companies over the past months is an indication of their significant status which is becoming more and more important in the country.

Also, these companies have now some stronger presence in the country’s national and international exhibitions which makes the industry sector more acquainted with their activities.

Being strongly supported by the government, the knowledge-based companies’ role in flourishing different industrial sectors of the country is noticeable.

One sector in which the part played by these companies is under the spotlight is the auto industry.

During a recent ceremony on signing a cooperation agreement between Iran Khodro Company (one of the major Iranian carmakers) and some knowledge-based companies on designing and manufacturing some auto parts, Iran’s Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari said the auto industry moving toward being more knowledge-based will result in designing different car models every year through benefiting from domestic platforms.

“In today’s industrial environment of the country, difference between having an auto industry or owning car plants is being determined by befitting from knowledge-based companies”, the official underscored.

“If we design and manufacture the cars ourselves it means that we have the industry, but if the ideas come from outside the country, it’s the meaning of just owning the plants”, he noted.

Knowledge-based companies’ role in indigenizing the manufacturing of auto parts is also being stressed, as it is one of the major plans that the Industry Ministry is following up in the current condition.

On Saturday, Industry, Mining and Trade Minister Reza Rahmani announced that indigenizing the manufacturing of auto parts, which used to be imported previously, has so far saved over $2 billion for the country, while creating jobs for 40,000 people, something achieved through befitting from the capabilities of the knowledge-based companies.

During a ceremony last week, three Iranian-made cars were unveiled in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani.

The new cars are 90 percent domestically made and just a few of their parts are imported, Rahmani said during the unveiling ceremony, adding that based on the planning underway manufacturing of those imported parts will be indigenized as well in the present and coming years.

When relying on the potentials of these companies empowers domestic production and help the industry sector overcome the sanctions, the government’s support to the knowledge-based companies is not enough, while the carmakers should also support them.

In fact, lack of such support is one of the major limitations that these companies are facing.

To remove this problem, the carmakers should consider that accompanying the knowledge-based companies will result in elevating technical knowledge and innovation in the country, while economizing on foreign currency expending, and reducing reliance on foreign sources. In this way the carmakers will give their all-encompassing supports to these companies.

Many economists and industrial experts believe that if auto sector acts properly in moving in a knowledge-based way it will motivate the other sectors to move in this line as well, bringing self-reliance for the country.