NTEC drive to develop Kuwait as IT hub
Kuwait, January 27, 2011
The National Technology Enterprises Company (NTEC), a subsidiary of Kuwait Investment Authority, has launched a four-year global initiative aimed at developing Kuwait as a regional hub for IT and technology.
The Global Bridge Initiative (GBI) is jointly developed NTEC and the IC2 Institute’s Global Commercialization Group (GCG) at the University of Texas at Austin and partnered with the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) and Kuwait University.
“Developing a new business is a daunting challenge – apart from ambition, dedication and commitment, you need good ideas, know-how and funding,” said Anas Meerza, general manager of NTEC.
“Through GBI, entrepreneurs and SMEs have the opportunity for world-class training, access to new technology ideas from the US which need commercial development, and access to potential investors to help provide the funding required.”
“GBI is offering Kuwait new technology start-up and developing businesses a unique opportunity to develop and grow. The programme has been successfully introduced to several countries around the world and now Kuwait has the opportunity to be the first country in the Middle East to benefit,” he added.
Sidney D Burback, associate director from University of Austin in Texas, said: “Since its founding in 1977, the IC2 Institute has focused on technology commercialization. Through academic research and practical application of our knowledge we generate real-world commercial success for technology and have successfully rolled out development program into seventeen countries so far.”
“With this track record of success, we are very pleased to be here today to launch the GBI program for Kuwait. Kuwait has excellent facilities and long history in entrepreneurship and trade,” he added.
Dr Naji Al-Mutairi, director general of KISR, said: “We have worked very closely with organisations in Kuwait and with the IC2 Institute to develop this tailor-made program. We believe this is a great opportunity for Kuwait technology businesses to develop and for KISR to assist this in a very practical and real way.”
Dr Rashed Al-Ajmi – CBA Dean from Kuwait University said: “In the past, Kuwait has often lacked the knowledge and resources to encourage students and graduates to develop new businesses within the region. The launch of GBI begins to address this issue – it will provide assistance for businesses already involved and committed to new technology ventures as well as acting as an encouragement for future graduates who may well become the entrepreneurs and engineers of tomorrow.”
GBI will initially run for four years and has the formal backing of the Kuwait government as well as many internationally renowned education and commercial organizations.
GBI utilizes a disciplined, accountable methodology to deliver measurable objectives. These include:
• Identification of Kuwaiti innovation with global commercial potential
• Transfer of Global & U.S. technologies into Kuwait/MENA region for the formation of new enterprises
• Identification of Kuwaiti entrepreneurs to lead new businesses based on foreign technology
• Training of Kuwaiti entrepreneurs for global commercialization of technology
• Establishment of three technology commercialization centers in key sectors: Energy, Biotechnology and Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
• Connections to international capital and know-how networks
• Generation of business agreements between foreign and GBI Program participants that can lead to future international business and technology transfer agreements
• Knowledge transfer of technology commercialization methodologies and entrepreneurship education to local partners. This will bring sustainability to the region beyond the duration of the programme
These objectives will in turn increase opportunities for technology-based businesses to thrive in Kuwait, be competitive in global markets and attract investments, a statement said.
The GBI programme is unique because it combines the transfer of expertise related to the growth and development allowing for self-sustainability as well as proactive business development in international markets, it added. – TradeArabia News Service