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The Royal Scientific Society – iPARK organizes an Innovation Day in Aqaba

Under the patronage of HE Eng. Nayef Bakheet, Chief Commissioner of Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA), The Royal Scientific Society – iPARK organized an Innovation Day in Aqaba, within the activities of NEX-LABS, an EU-funded project under ENI CBCMED framework.

The Innovation Day revolves around launching Water-Energy-Food NEXUS Open Living Labs as a permanent infrastructure to support the innovation ecosystem in Aqaba towards a sustainable increase in the agri-food sector while taking into consideration efficiency in water and energy. The innovation day included a Circular Economy Conference, where the various support mechanisms that will be introduced by NEX-LABS were validated, and Entrepreneurs’ Corner Space, where stakeholders addressed cooperation towards a more enabling innovation environment.

H.E. Bakheet opened by emphasizing the fact that ASEZA realizes the importance of partnership with all official bodies and the private sector towards implementing pioneering projects in Aqaba, with ASEZA acting as an incubator for pioneering projects and initiatives at the national and international levels. He added that the authority is working to link entrepreneurship with the authority’s strategy. Furthermore, he stressed that the Authority is committed to supporting young entrepreneurs and pioneering projects, ensuring that these projects promote technology transfer and develop sectors of the highest priority and importance at the national level, such as food, water, energy and digital transformation, which contributes to providing job opportunities and achieving innovation-driven growth.

For his part, Dr. Muhammad Al-Jafari, the project coordinator, stressed the importance of gathering efforts towards solving problems related to resource security from all segments of society, pointing out that the fruitful cooperation between the Royal Scientific Society – iPARK and ASEZA that has led to the incubation of dozens of startups in the iPARK’s Aqaba incubator, running since 2017.

He further emphasized the importance of regional cooperation and coordination through emerging initiatives, taking the opportunity to announce the launch of WEF-CAP, another EU-funded project under the ENI CBCMED Framework, which aims at combining the capitalization and expansion of tools and methodologies used for innovation commercialization with the capitalization of WEF NEXUS innovations in efficient practices for replication across EU-MPC, thus supporting sustainable and resilient agri-food sector production with improved energy and water efficiencies.

This will be the first of many similar activities to be held in Aqaba over the coming year, culminating in a regional conference dedicated to improving the capitalization of WEF-NEXUS scientific and policy-related outputs.

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