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Context and Theme
In a joint effort to promote a knowledge-based economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the European Investment Bank (EIB), through the Centre for Mediterranean Integration (CMI), and the Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) organized, in cooperation with a local consortium formed by İzmir Katip Çelebi University Entrepreneurship House and Technology Transfer Office (IKC GETTO), the Aegean Region Chamber of Industry (EBSO), and the Aegean Exporters' Association (Ege İhracatçı Birlikleri), a 3-day workshop for stakeholders and managers of Science and Technology Parks in the MENA region (May 8 to 10, 2018).
The theme of the workshop was: the role that Science and Technology Parks (the Izmir region has four) can play to integrate and strengthen the functioning of the region’s Industrial and Technology Development Zones, universities, R&D Labs and Public Research Centres, Technology Transfer Offices, Business Incubation Services, etc.
The main issues addressed during the workshop, were as follows:
• The role of /and support from the local authorities: What are the stakeholders views?
• private sector views’ on the role of STP’s: Chambers of Industry, individual firms, start-ups, etc.
• The TTO’s terms of references and business models: Can different TTO’s co-exist in one region?
• The Cooperative schemes / contract-types (incl. PPP’s) between local industries and universities.
• How to raise the interest of the academic sector for “indigenous” industries…and vice versa ?
• Case Studies: Success-stories and lessons-learned from unsuccessful initiatives.
• Role and business models for R&D-facilities: Any potential for PPP’s?
During this three days’ workshop, which was set up as a case study of Izmir’s innovation system, a series of panel sessions and site visits shed the light on the ability within the Izmir region to nurture and create an innovation-oriented climate favorable and conducive to the emergence of successful technology-based production environment. The workshop examined the role of the Technological Development Zones (Teknoparks) in particular.
• Role of the financial sector: local banks, R&D-funds, VC-funds, business angels, crowd-funding.
• Ability of STP’s to attract foreign investment and to export the facilitation of its tenants.