Innovation key to regional development: Dr Rabadi
Government, businesses must create policies encouraging innovation says director of iPark Technology Incubator in Jordan
Small and medium enterprises drive job creation in the Middle East, particularly those businesses that are both innovative and dynamic, according to Dr Wissam Rabadi, director of the iPark Technology Incubator in Jordan, and one of the speakers at the Second Abu Dhabi Innovation Forum.
"Over the past seven years, iPark has incubated 38 start-ups in the ICT sector, and these companies have already employed around 1,400 people. In our experience, SMEs serve as a catalyst to job creation, and to sustain this trend, we need to highlight innovation and entrepreneurship in the region," Dr Rabadi said.
"As economies around the world grow increasingly competitive; innovation is crucial to a company's survival. If you do not adequately differentiate your business from the competition, you run the risk of being left behind," he added.
According to Dr Rabadi, although innovation is being focused on in the Middle East region, not enough is being done by governments or organisations to create innovative policies and decisions.
"In order for the GCC and wider Middle East region to flourish and diversify their economies, there needs to be a conscious political decision that positions innovation in the core of any government economic development policy. Innovation needs to be a very important component in every action of government, schools, public and private entities," Dr Rabadi concluded.
Dr Rabadi will present the iPark Technology Incubator, El Hassan Science City as a case study of how technology incubators can drive innovation in the Middle East, in his speech at the Second Abu Dhabi Innovation Forum.
Aspiring entrepreneurs are encouraged to approach with innovative ideas and the Technology Incubator will provide logistical support, infrastructure and operational technical support as well as strategic counsel, business advice and networking.
The Second Abu Dhabi Innovation Forum is part of the Innovation Week from 24th to 26th January 2011. The Abu Dhabi Innovators Fair and the Abu Dhabi Innovation Awards will also feature at the Forum.