The Centre for Innovation and Technology at the Industrial Research Institute (IRI)

The Centre for Innovation and Technology at the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) launched on 24 June 2012 an “Innovation Voucher" project at IRI premises, in the presence of the Minister of Industry, H.E. Mr. Vrej Sabounjian, and the Head of the Delegation of the European Union, Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst.

The “Innovation Voucher" project is co-funded by the European Union and the Industrial Research Institute. It aims at supporting socio-economic development and economic growth in Lebanon and reinforcing the competitiveness of the Lebanese private sector. More specifically the project will promote technological innovation in products and services of the manufacturing industry. The "Innovation Voucher Project" will grant up to €10 000 to at least 20 Lebanese small and medium enterprises to apply research and innovation in their products and services.

This voucher system is mainly designed to encourage SMEs that lack the resources or experience to work with research and innovation centres, and to engage researchers help small industries face competitiveness challenges. It also aims at encouraging SMEs to create new products, processes, services or even enhanced business models. The system will help alleviate the financial cost of research and development for the Small and medium-sized enterprises, through a simple application procedure.

The Centre for Innovation and Technology at the Industrial Research Institute has received a grant of €200 000 from the European Union for the implementation of this initiative. It will act as a coordination body between the research institutions and the demands of local industry.

Mr. Naji Abi Zeid, CIT Director, spoke in the opening ceremony highlighting the importance of innovation, linking it to our very existence. He encouraged researchers to come forward and benefit from the Voucher Program promising them the center’s necessary support and follow up.

The Minister of Industry, H.E. Mr. Vrej Sabounjian, stated that the European expertise implemented in our enterprises by the Lebanese should provide us with special capabilities and a competitive edge for our products in the European markets. “We will seek together through this Center for Innovation and Technology to enhance the exchange of knowledge. We will also try to transfer the European technology through the establishment of the Integrated Industries in Lebanon, which relies on high value added which is readily available among the Lebanese minds and creativity”.

Dr. Bassam Frenn, Chairman of the Industrial Research Institute, declared that the scientific research is the main driver for the production of knowledge. This is why a comprehensive strategic plan was put in place in order to support the economic, social and environmental development. He also noted that the bigger project to be implemented should include a legal and regulatory framework which protects innovative ideas in Lebanon.

H.E. Ambassador Eichhorst, Head of the Delegation of the European Union, said: "Innovation is not only a crucial investment for the future of the European Union. It is also crucial for Lebanon. We strongly believe that Lebanon possesses extraordinary potential for innovation and can build on its rich cultural diversity. We want to help the Lebanese private sector acquire a 'competitive edge' and conquer new markets".

Mrs. Salam Yamout project Director from PAO (Presidency of the Council of Ministers) added that the government of Lebanon is working on several projects to improve innovation and access to capital markets.

For further information on the "Innovation Voucher Project", kindly contact: Centre for Innovation and Technology
Industrial Research Institute (IRI) at the Lebanese University Campus- Hadath
Telephone: 05-464867/05-465078

© Copyright 2012 The Centre for Innovation and Technology (CIT) . All rights reserved.

This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union.
The contents of this publication is the sole responsability of CIT / IRI and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.