Asia-Pacific National Innovation Systems
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International Workshop on Technology-based Entrepreneurship

27-28 October 2015
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Organized by
Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT)
of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
New Delhi, India

in cooperation with and hosted by the
Department of Technology Development Studies,
Iranian Research Organization for Science and Technology (IROST),
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran
and
IORA Regional Centre for Science and Technology Transfer (RCSTT),
Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Supported by
Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR)
Ministry of Science and Technology,
Government of India, New Delhi, India

Co-organizers
Department of Technology Development Studies, Iranian Research Organization for
Science and Technology (IROST), Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

IORA Regional Centre for Science and Technology Transfer (RCSTT), Tehran, Islamic
Republic of Iran

Background

Technological entrepreneurship is one of the issues that has received considerable attention in recent decades and played a major role in economic growth of the advanced countries in Asia-Pacific region. Development of a knowledge-based economy and the use of capacities of new echnologies for economic growth have focused the policymakers’ attention on the significance of technological entrepreneurship. Technological entrepreneurship acts as a link between technology development and business establishment whose final goal is to provide opportunities
for producing commercial products and to obtain economic value. Development of Technology-based entrepreneurship often faces with challenges such as lack of infrastructures and/or appropriate policies.

The main goal of this workshop was to facilitate the expansion of national productive capacity of the countries in Asia-Pacific region by improving the knowledge of technological entrepreneurship development. The target group of the workshop included: senior science, technology and innovation (STI) policymakers and officials from APCTT-ESCAP member countries, including the Islamic Republic of Iran; and experts from national and sub-national STI
promotion agencies of Islamic Republic of Iran, including incubatees managers, industries, academia, innovators, start-up companies, business financing and venture capital agencies, and other STI stakeholders.

Objectives

Deliberate on the concepts, models, policies, infrastructure, support mechanisms and programmes to promote technology-based entrepreneurship;

Share knowledge, experiences, best practices and learn from success stories of technology-based entrepreneurship from the Asia-Pacific region and developed countries to enable the participants to devise better approaches for accelerating technology-based entrepreneurship;

Enhance the capacity of relevant stakeholders from the Islamic Republic of Iran to develop, manage and implement technological entrepreneurship programmes more effectively;

Provide an opportunity for key actors and stakeholders of technological entrepreneurship in the Islamic Republic of Iran to network and exchange experiences;and

Provide inputs to policy-makers of the Islamic Republic of Iran to help them develop appropriate policy and institutional frameworks for the promotion of technological entrepreneurship as a part of the national innovation system (NIS).

Major Outputs

The Workshop began with a welcome address by Mr. Mahmood Molanejad, Director of IORA Regional Centre for Science and Technology Transfer (RCSTT), Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, who acknowledged the participation of international resource persons and prominent stakeholders from the Islamic Republic of Iran in the meeting. While welcoming the participants, he underlined the importance of the Workshop toward strengthening capacity of Iranian stakeholders in the area of technology-based entrepreneurship. Addressing the gathering, Mr. Nanjundappa Srinivasan, Coordinator, Science, Technology and Innovation, APCTT- ESCAP, gave a brief introduction about the objectives of the Workshop. He noted that the Workshop would provide an opportunity to the policymakers and practitioners of the Islamic Republic of Iran to learn from one another’s, as well as the participating international experts’,core competencies in the area of technology-based entrepreneurship. The first keynote address was delivered by Mr. Salar Hosein Amoli, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, Islamic Republic of Iran. Mr. Amoli highlighted the importance of triple helix model for strengthening NISs of countries. In the second keynote address, Mr. Mehdi Elyasi, Deputy from Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology, Presidency of the Islamic Republic of Iran, provided an insight into the key issues and challenges being faced by the country for promoting technological entrepreneurship, particularly in the knowledge-based sectors.

The first technical session deliberated on the concepts, models, policies and successful programmes of technology-based entrepreneurship from developed and developing country perspective. While APCTT-ESCAP provided an overview of technology-based entrepreneurship as a core component of national innovation system, the invited experts from India and Thailand and the management consultant based in the Republic of Korea presented their views on trends
in the development and management of technology-based entrepreneurship in the respective countries.

The second session focused on infrastructure and support mechanisms for technology- based entrepreneurship from national perspectives. APCTT-ESCAP presented an overview of infrastructure and support mechanisms for technology-based entrepreneurship while experts from Thailand and India shared their country experiences with the participants. In addition, the Indian expert specifically discussed relevant mechanisms to support technology-based
entrepreneurship in educational institutions and industries and among public at large. The third session deliberated on issues related to venture capital and financing for start-up and technology- based entrepreneurship. The experts presented and discussed case studies and lessons learnt from countries such as Finland and Thailand.

At the fourth session, national experts from the Islamic Republic of Iran shared experience and case studies on technological entrepreneurship and business incubation being promoted by IROST in sustainable energy and other high technology areas. A policymaker from the Entrepreneurial Development Office, Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare, the Islamic Republic of Iran, also presented an overview of national entrepreneurship programme of
the country. In the fifth session, the participants made field visits to Servo Hydraulic Pooya Co. located in the IROST Technology Incubation Centre, and the micro algae pilot plant of IROST Department of Biotechnology. The sixth session discussed technology-based entrepreneurship in the Islamic Republic of Iran focusing on knowledge-based firms as well as new product development and commercialization in high technology-based firms.

The Workshop concluded with a panel discussion focusing on the issues, challenges, opportunities and the way forward to foster technology-based entrepreneurship in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Asia-Pacific in general.

See Annex I for the programme.

Conclusions and Recommendations

  • A study could be carried out at the regional level to investigate the status of technology-based entrepreneurship, and identify specific issues and modalities of regional cooperation.
  • APCTT-ESCAP could continue in organizing workshops, conferences and/or expert meetings on technology-based entrepreneurship. These events shall be held annually,hosted by a member country on voluntary basis.
  • The next activity may be hosted by Royal Thai Government in 2016 and tentatively the possibility will be explored by India to host the same meeting in 2017 through joint effort with IROST, APCTT-ESCAP, IORA RCSTT and relevant national institution of the host country.
  • APCTT-ESCAP could promote networking on technology-based entrepreneurship among regional stakeholders aimed at organizing cooperative and joint activities such as: technology exhibitions; training programmes; technology transfer activities;developing a regional vision for technology development and commercialization; establishment of a web-based networking platform; and technical visits.

Participants

Eleven international and national resource persons from APCTT-ESCAP, India, Islamic Republic of Iran and Thailand, besides a management consultant based in the Republic of Korea, shared their knowledge and experiences, while about 70 policymakers, incubatees managers, industries, academia, start-up companies, venture capital firms and other STI stakeholders from the Islamic Republic of Iran participated in the workshop.

See Annex II for the list of participants.