Sunday, February 25, 2024

Iran Opens ‘House of Innovation and Technology’ in Kenya

Iranian Vice-President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari has officially inaugurated the Iran House of Innovation of Technology (IHIT) in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

The Iranian vice-president opened the centre in a ceremonyheld on Wednesday, January 27, 2021, ahead of a business meeting between Iranian high-tech companies and their Kenyan counterparts.

Addressing the ceremony, Sattari hailed the capacities of Kenya for development of technology and innovation ties, saying the African country is among Iran’s priorities for promotion of mutual cooperation.

What follows is the full text of VP Sattari’s speech at the Iran-Kenya Business Forum:

Good morning ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to acknowledge my appreciation and gratitude to the Kenyan authorities and enterprises.

After my visit from East African countries two years ago, in which Iranian knowledge-based companies accompanied me; we realized various capacities of Kenya to develop technology and innovation ties.

It is obvious that Kenya has made significant political, structural and economic reforms that have largely driven sustained economic growth, social development and political gains over the past decade. Kenya’s economic growth of near six percent in 2019 placed this country as one of the fastgrowing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa, which made this country a focal point in the east of Africa for business and technology cooperation withIran.

Now, I am glad that my promise to establish an innovation and technology centre in Kenya has been fulfilled today. I must appreciate the efforts of the Honorable Ambassador of Iran in Kenya (Dr. Barmaki), my colleagues in Vice Presidency for Science and Technology,and also our Executive Agent (Mr. Hassani) for their efforts for the renovation of the building and establishing this centre.

Unfortunately, during the past year the COVID-19 pandemic has been the major problem for us. Its serious damages have affected all sectors of business, health, education and public welfare in all communities especially vulnerable groupsIt is important to think about solutions to prevent and control these disasters with technological approaches.

Under these circumstances, we need to share our experiences, expertise, and technological solutions for forming effective collective actions. Needless to say, overcoming this crisis requires the best efforts to acquire new technologies. At the same time, the dissemination of existing technological possibilities to facilitate universal access is of equal importance. This collective approach ensuring that nations have access to the right of basic technological requirements for public health and well-being.

I would like to mention that from the beginning of the outbreak of COVID-19, the support of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has caused knowledge-based companies to design and manufacture equipment and drugs related to the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 at the level of international standards and cut the country’s dependence on imports of these products while exporting them to the other countries.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, as a leading country in science, technology and, innovation in the Islamic world, has had many successes in combating COVID-19. Here I would like to mention some of Iran’s technological achievements in this field:

1. In the field of COVID-19 vaccine, three groups have started their activities in Iran since months ago, which has passed clinical phases, and in the near future, we will hear promising news that Iranian scientists obtaining this vaccine.
2. In the field of effective drugs for the control and treatment of the COVID-19virus, countless clinical studies have been conducted in the Iranian medical health care sector, which has led to the discovery of effective therapies in the control and treatment of the COVID-19 virus. 
3. In the field of diagnostic kits and COVID-19 extraction kits, five Iranian companies have succeeded in manufacturing these kits.
4. In the field of medical equipment, in order to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and treatment of it, Iranian experts and knowledge-based companies have succeeded in manufacturing hospital ventilators, home oxygenators, hospital oxygenators, vital signs monitors, pulse oximeters, non-contact digital thermometers, CT scan devices, etc.
5. In the field of medical consumables products, in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Iranian companies have succeeded in manufacturing machines and devices for the production of various types of masks, gloves, alcohol-based and non-alcohol hand and surfaces sanitizers. 

All these developments have taken place in a situation where, despite that my country showed good faith in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the most severe oppressive sanctions by the United States of America hindered importing even international humanitarian aids. However, a significant amount of equipment, medical supplies and diagnostic kits have been exported to various countries. Also, we have a package of medical equipment as a gift to one of your hospitals in Kenya.

In that vein, my country is ready to participate effectively in bilateral scientific and technological cooperation, with the aim of strengthening Kenya long-term development agenda to Vision twenty-thirty, the “Big Four” development priority areas regarding manufacturing, universal healthcare, affordable housing and food security.

Dear audiences, Here I’d like to draw your attention to the point of how innovation is significantly prevailing in the Islamic Republic of Iran to move the country toward an innovation-driven economy.

As you are well aware, there are vast capacities in terms of science and technology in Iran; with regard to the changing discourse of the economy of the Islamic Republic of Iran as a transition from a traditional and oil-based economy to the development of a knowledge-based economy, Vice Presidency for Science and Technology, has expanded the ecosystem of innovation and technology in Iran with the aim of evolving new business environment and entrepreneurship.

In recent years, we have witnessed significant growth in technology and innovation areas in our country. Iran’s global rank in science production has risen from 34th to 16th and the first in the region. The number of university students in Iran has increased from 2.4 million to 4.8 million, which puts Iran among the top five countries in terms of the number of graduate engineers. Iran’s ranking in the Global Innovation Index has also increased by fifty-five places over the past five years, and we have had an increasing growth in the development of advanced technologies such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, renewable energies, cognitive science, stem cells and,ICT. Also as a result of the implementation of knowledge-based economy development policies in Iran, the size of the knowledge-based economy in Iran has grown to over eleven billion US dollars, through the activity of five thousand and six hundred knowledge-based companies and more than one thousand and forty creative and innovative ones.

My dear friends;

We all know effective global cooperation is now much more important for us because we are investing in technology and innovation to keep sustainable and competitive growth.

To this aim, the Islamic Republic of Iran, by relying on its capabilities, is trying to develop constructive and dynamic relations and cooperation globally; Hopefully, Kenya isamong the priorities of Iran’s bilateral cooperation.

Undoubtedly, the role of the government in each country is to pave the way for basic required platforms for international interactions of the private sector, something which has been done by opening this technology and innovation centre and holding more commercial forums like this.

I hope today’s opening ceremony of the centreand following B2B meetings between Iranian and Kenyan enterprises become a turning point in the bilateral economic collaboration.

The Islamic Republic of Iran fully supports such partnerships between Iranian and Kenyanenterprises.

Thank you all for your kind attention

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