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Innovation Capacities

Status: Completed
Tags: MENA Region / 2013
  • Lead Organization

    European Investment Bank (EIB).



    Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO); United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia Technology Centre (UN-ESCWA
    Technology Center).
    In addition: Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); United Nations Development Program (UNDP); International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation

    (IASP) and ALECSO.



    The Innovation Capacity works program addresses key obstacles observed in the flagship CMI study: Transforming Arab Economies: Traveling the Knowledge and
    Innovation Road (2013):
    • Developing and reinforcing within science and technology parks or within industrial clusters and indigenous industries. 
    • Measuring, understanding and improving the efficacy and efficiency of value creation within national innovation systems (national innovation observatories)
    • Developing and enhancing the Intellectual Capital in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.


    Program Objective

    To help Middle East and North Africa (MENA) managers of science and technology parks (STPs) improve their management and governance skills and to maximize technology transfer, exploitation of knowledge, and business creation. In the medium to long term to create a MENA network of science and technology park chief executive officers (CEOs).
    To develop an innovation scoreboard adapted to the MENA Region, as a valuable benchmarking tool to monitor and assess countries’ innovation performance and policies.

    Selected Results

    • Informed policy choice/improved networks: Sub-program 1: Science and Technology Parks (STPs): 
      This sub-program was successfully launched with a regional workshop on effective governance and management models for STPs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region (Casablanca, November 2013). A second activity (a case study)focused on the role of STPs in the creation of value through knowledge and technology transfer (Ankara, June 2014).
      This sub-program helps policy makers make better decisions when designing and building STP projects, technology transfer offices, and other innovation structures. At home, STP managers engage in better-informed dialogue with their respective institutions and governments. This sub-program initiated the formation of a MENA community of knowledge and STP practitioners (the online tool used so far is a LinkedIn group).
    • Deepened knowledge/improved networks: Sub-program 2: National Innovation Systems (NIS):
      This sub-program was launched with the first expert meeting on national innovation systems in MENA countries (Amman, November 2013), which prepared the ground for setting up an innovation scoreboard for MENA, but revealed that more work is needed to reach a consensus about the right indicators for the region and data collection.Against this backdrop, an expert meeting took place in November 2014 at the headquarters of the Arab League of States in Cairo. 
      The final outcome should be the creation of the MENA Innovation Scoreboard, which describes countries’ performance on innovation, allows for cross-country benchmarking, and fosters regional integration. 
      The sub-program contributes to the creation of a community of knowledge and practice in the region (three practitioners from each MENA country) with concrete linkages between stakeholders in national innovation systems.