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Gov’t launches four-year national innovation strategy

By Raed Omari - Jun 15,2014 - Last updated at Jun 15,2014

AMMAN — The government on Sunday launched the National Strategy for Innovation, consisting of a set of suggested projects at a total cost of around JD14.5 million to be implemented within four years.

The strategy was launched on the sidelines of the Competitiveness and Innovation Conference, which Planning Minister Ibrahim Saif opened on Sunday at the Columbia University Middle East Research Centre (CUMERC).

Participants at the conference, titled “Can Jordan Join the Ranks of Competitive and Innovative Nations?” discussed the outcomes of a study prepared by the World Bank on Jordan’s innovation policy and its investment environment, especially when it comes to small- and medium-sized enterprises.

Speaking on behalf of Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, Saif said conventional development tools are no longer enough to achieve prosperity and welfare with the rapid increase of the world’s population and international economic crises.

Countries worldwide —  developed and developing — are all struggling with high unemployment, especially among the younger generation, Saif noted, adding that they are required to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship as a way to address economic woes.

Jordan is urgently required to enhance innovation and entrepreneurship, especially with a rising energy bill and a rapidly growing refugee community.

Realising the importance of innovation, the government reactivated the National Council for Competitiveness and Innovation in the beginning of 2014 to draw up a mechanism for work and define the challenges facing the knowledge economy sector based on innovation and excellence, Saif said.

Sunday’s conference was organised by the Planning Ministry in cooperation with the World Bank, CUMERC, and the Higher Council for Science and Technology.   

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