New innovation association opens in Bahrain
Manama, April 4, 2013
Ebtikar Association, a first-of-its-kind organisation in Bahrain, which will act to mobilise resources, foster best practice and be a force of proposition in the field of innovation was officially inaugurated yesterday.
The opening was held under the patronage of the Minister of Transportation and acting CEO of Bahrain Economic Development Board, Kamal Ahmed, a statement from the association said.
It aims to develop a dedicated platform to support an innovation-driven society through local networking and international collaboration.
Dr Abdulla A Al Najjar, president of the Arab Science and Technology Foundation ("ASTF"), the largest non-profit scientific foundation in the Arab world was present at the event.
Also present at the event as guest speaker was Dr Jean-Christophe Baillie, chief science officer of the French company Aldebaran Robotics. Dr Baillie shared his journey into the emerging world of personal robotics and the audience was introduced to Aldebaran’s robot, NAO, and the diversity of applications of such technological innovations, the statement said.
"I am very pleased that such an initiative is taking place in Bahrain. Ebtikar is a necessary addition to the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and it will facilitate Bahrain’s transition into a knowledge-based economy,” Ahmed said.
“ASTF is delighted to be invited to the launch event of Ebtikar which we are supporting since its concept stage, and we look forward to collaborating with this natural partner in Bahrain to help innovation flourish in the Arab world,” Al Najjar said.
Osama Al Khaja, Ebtikar president, said: “Ebtikar is a catalyst for innovation in Bahrain - a crossroads of ideas, innovators, and investors. Many enablers from the public and private sectors already support entrepreneurship and innovation in Bahrain, and Ebtikar will be a platform to channel and develop these efforts.”
“In today’s world, innovation is a major driver behind the creation of businesses, particularly SME’s, the creation of job opportunities and the enhancement of efficiency,” he added. “Ultimately, Ebtikar aims to stimulate economic and social growth and translate it into sustainable business and to further economic prosperity.”
The association’s founders are an eclectic group from both the government and the private sector, who include industrialists, businessmen, financiers and educationalists. They all share the common passion of unleashing the innovation potential of Bahrain and beyond, the statement said.
Like-minded members from all sectors of the economy are welcome to join the association like entrepreneurs, investors, sponsors, inventors, owners and managers of enterprises of all sizes, as well as strategic thinkers and researchers.
Ebtikar will host networking events where innovation-related topics will be profiled by regional and global innovators and leading industrial entrepreneurs to encourage new applications and stimulate the exchange of ideas and business development, it said.
The launch was attended by senior members of the public and private sectors as well as Bahraini innovators and entrepreneurs. – TradeArabia News Service
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