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Joint Spanish-Jordanian fund launches second seed investment round for industrial research development programme

By Mohammad Al Raqqad - Jan 31,2019 - Last updated at Jan 31,2019

AMMAN — The Higher Council for Science and Technology’s (HCST) Industrial Scientific Research and Development Fund on Wednesday opened the submission window for the second round of joint industrial-academia research investments.

The fund will provide JD30,000 in support for short-listed research proposals to reward researchers, cover budget items, wages, check-ups, scientific and technological services, consumables and transportation costs, Fund Director Rima Ras told The Jordan Times.

The 2019 call for proposals was launched in cooperation with Spain’s Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), under the Jordanian-Spanish creativity programme.

In 2018, the fund supported 400 projects at a total value of JD4 million, according to Secretary General of the HCST Khaled Shraideh.

Chairman of the Amman Chamber of Industry (ACI) Fathi Jaghbir, said: “We look forward to joining forces in the Jordanian industrial sector and to integrate national and international programmes and institutions to contribute effectively to the industrial development and build on the achievements of this sector, which contributes a quarter of the total output [GDP] through 18,000 industrial establishments, employing some 250,000 workers and exporting around JD5 billion in goods, in 2017.”

Jaghbir called on industrialists, university professors and researchers to submit applications and benefit from the programme.

He also pointed to the various programmes organised by the ACI and other national institutions to contribute to the industrial development process and the advancement of the national economy.

Shraideh said that the programme aims to support the alignment of applied scientific research with the requirements of industry and industrial research. 

The programme focuses on joint research and development projects in various priority fields in Jordan, he noted.

These include renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, nanotechnology, ICT applications, intelligent networks, agriculture, water, sustainable water management, industry development and the environment, according to Shraideh.

The fund’s areas of support include the development of new industrial products, improving the quality of industrial products, increasing the efficiency of industrial production processes and the development of local technology, Ras said.

The main eligibility criteria for applicants to enrol in the programme are as follows: The enterprise must be an industrial company registered under one of Jordan’s multiple chambers of industry, at least one year old with a scope of research that is compatible with that of the fund’s objectives, in addition to being in collaboration with a research or consulting enterprise.

The event, held at the ACI, was attended by dozens of industrialists and researchers from Jordanian universities and scientific centres, as well as Spanish corporate officials.

It featured the successful cooperation between Al Zaytuna For Chocolate & Confectionery Manufacturing Co. and Petra University instructor Mias Rimawi, whose partnership resulted in the development of nutrient-rich, locally-made chocolates, and was financed by the fund.

The HCST and the CDTI signed the agreement to implement the partnership programme in 2017.

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