Marseille, 20 September 2019 – THE NEXT SOCIETY launches the Tech Booster, a programme to support entrepreneurial skills of young talents willing to turn a research project into a start-up

A good quality of Research prevail in the MENA region: Egypt, for instance, ranks within the top five countries worldwide in several topics in Chemistry, Physics, Material Sciences and Water Sciences (1). Yet, companies with R&D needs are seldom aware of this huge potential of innovation and value creation, or, when they are, they lack adequate information or mechanism of industry–university collaboration. Connecting local research and industry – in other words technology transfer, is therefore a major issue for MENA countries when it comes to innovation and economic development. This demands wide-ranging action covering the different levels concerned: implementation of legal, regulatory and fiscal policies, institutional and organisational amendments, but also training and awareness raising both on the academia and research institutes, and industry sides.

THE NEXT SOCIETY, an open community of change makers engaged in innovation and economic development led by ANIMA Investment Network and 30 partners and co-funded by the European Union, decided to launch the Tech Booster acceleration programme to boost technology transfer in the Mediterranean by supporting success stories of research-based start-ups in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon. These projects led by researchers-entrepreneurs are a powerful demonstration of the technology transfer potential and can help to create a momentum to remove the barriers to innovation.

After a pilot phase in 2018, the activities of the Tech Booster will be implemented in the coming months, starting by Lebanon and Egypt in September 2019. They offer several opportunities to MENA young researchers: Tech Transfer bootcamps, collective coaching sessions, soft landing missions in Europe, public pitching sessions and DemoDays to get connected with targeted investors, industry leaders and experts. Winners of the Tech Booster will also join the 2019 edition of Emerging Valley in Aix-en-Provence in December to meet French and African Tech leaders and work on the design of the city of tomorrow during a workshop co-organised by ANIMA and thecamp. The challenge of this collaboration is just as strategic for researchers- entrepreneurs as it is for large companies, as Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot, co-founder and director of the HEC’sSocial Business Chair, pointed out at a workshop organised by ANIMA: “Large companies realised that the success of technological innovations developed by subsidiaries of transnational corporations in emergingcountries depends on a ‘corporate culture’ allowing to be as close as possible to consumer needs, and to the realities and constraints of the local situation“.

The Tech Booster, a programme to support entrepreneurial skills of young talents willing to turn a research project into a start-up

The Tech Booster is intended for young researchers or innovators who developed a technology or a research project and who want to turn it into a successful business. It provides a tailor-made support from a pool of experts, mentors and investors to explore market, funding and business opportunities, develop a valid business model and get local and international exposure. A strong emphasis is on entrepreneurship skills, Intellectual Property (Assessment, Rights and Protection) and go-to market strategy.

Outcomes for the research-based start-up projects include a validated Business Model, a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) ready to access the market, an investment and/or client pitch deck, visibility and the opportunity of B2B meetings with industry leaders and innovation professionals in your sector.

“We’ve learnt a lot about business models and that’s something we don’t get in engineering”, said Samer Abou Diab, beneficiary of the Tech Booster who develops a smart device for road safety in Lebanon. “Investors, business angels and industry leaders involved in the coaching, mentoring and BtoB meetings of the Tech Booster are impressed by the great project ideas they discover and believe there is real potential to expand the portfolio of ‘investable’ projects in the MENA region,” adds Zoé Luçon, who coordinates the Tech Booster implementation at ANIMA.

The Tech Booster acceleration programme is implemented in Egypt and Lebanon in September 2019 thanks to the support of the national partners of THE NEXT SOCIETY, TIEC and Berytech. Several activities targeting researchers-entrepreneurs in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Palestine and Jordan will be organised soon.

For more information on the Tech Booster, download the brochure or visit THE NEXT SOCIETY website.

“National technology development and transfer system in Egypt”, a UN report published by ESCWA in 2017

Press and communication contact

Inmaculada Ruiz [email protected]

About THE NEXT SOCIETY

THE NEXT SOCIETY is an open community of change makers engaged in innovation and economic development. It gathers entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, NGOs, public and private innovation, research and economic development hubs from Europe and the Mediterranean countries.
THE NEXT SOCIETY gathers already a large network of over 300 business & innovation, research and investment organisations, 2,500 international SMEs and entrepreneurs from 30 countries.

THE NEXT SOCIETY launched a four-year action plan (2017-2020), co-funded by the EU up to 90% for a global amount of EUR 7.8 million budget.
www.thenextsociety.co

About ANIMA Investment Network

ANIMA Investment Network is an international economic development network that aims to work to the promotion and development of the Mediterranean. The ANIMA network brings together 80 members from 18 countries of the Euro-Mediterranean area, including national and regional investment promotion and economic development agencies, business federations, innovation centres, international investors and research institutes. ANIMA’s objective is to contribute to the continued improvement of the business and investment climate, as well as encourage shared and sustainable economic development in the Mediterranean. The network provides expertise in economic development, organises training and sharing of experience, does valuable work on economic promotion, acts as a cooperation agency for its members andpartners and supports companies in their development and impact on the region’s markets.

www.anima.coop

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